Skip to main content

Full text of "The independent"

See other formats


the INDEPENDENT 

a monthly publication of the Foundation for Independent Video and Film, Inc. 99 prince st„ ny, ny 10012 ph 12121 966-0900; 

April 1979 



CALENDAR 

Tues. April 17 

8:00 pm 

99 Prince St. 



Sun. April 22 
8:30 pm 
The Kitchen 
484 Broome St. 



Tues. April 24 
7:30 PM 
School of Visual 
Arts 

209 E. 23rd 
(2nd & 3rd Ave) 
The Amphitheatre 
3rd floor 

Mon. April 30 

8:00 pm 

99 Prince St. 



Wed. May 9 

8:00 pm 

99 Prince St. 



INDEPENDENTS PRODUCING FOR TELEVISION - Discussion & screening: Jim Blue, 
Exec Producer of "The Frontier" series of indie shows for Channel 17 in Buffalo, originator of 
"The Territory" — indie series in Houston & Assoc. Prof, of Media, SUNY in Buffalo & an 
indie documentarian. Tom Weinberg, Indie f/v producer of "Image Union" on WTTW in Chicago, 
and Lynn Corcoran, producer of "The Frontier" and an indie doc. videomaker. 

VIDEO ART — Screening & Discussion with the makers: Second part of a series on new video 
work jointly sponsored by The Kitchen & AIVF. Curated by Maxi Cohen & Robin Weber 
"JGLNG" (pronounced "juggling") by Skip Blumberg, a high contrast b/w 5 min. abstract 
visualization of the act of juggling. (Shown at the Everson Museum, The Whitney, KQED, 
Atlanta Film Festival, Lanesville TV & more) "INTERPOLATION" by Kit Fitzgerald & John 
Sandborn. 15 min. Drawing on elements of drama & on images from everyday life & using both 
simple and sophisticated methods of video postproduction, they have created "abstracted Al- 
legories." All works stress the power & presence of aerial effects to underscore and complement 
images. "BALLS" by Steve Kolpan. 4 min exploration of the distortion of time & perspective. 
"WINDOWS" by Gary Hill. 8 min. study for IMU & installation piece for recoding the im- 
mediate environment — incorporated interactive programming of automated cameras, images 
processing, sense devices & dynamic image location on multiple output systems. "MEDIA 
BURN" by Ant Farm, 25 min. 

SCREENING: The Women in this program have all participated in the Director's Workshop. 
The Nap 13 min. Directed by Joan Rosenfelt. A contemporary mystery. Working for Peanuts 
21 min. Directed by Alice Spivak. A satirical point of view of the advertising field. Margaret's 
Bed 22 min. Directed by Wendy D'Lugin. A contemporary story confronting the problems of 
understanding and communication between a woman and a man. "I am Cecil Day, 38 years 
old. ..." 33 min. Directed by Susan Spencer Smith. A woman in Dallas, Texas talks about 
herself from childhood to the present. In counterpoint to this narrative we see one day in her 
life. 

LEGAL & FINANCIAL FORUM: Second part of our series bringing the expertise of outside 
professionals to the indie community. Presented by Edwin S. Brown, CPA of Mann, Brown & 
Bauman and Robert Freedman, Esq. Discussion topics to include: establishing corporate & 
non-profit status, limited partnerships, soliciting private investors, distributor contracts, the 
pros & cons of tax shelters. 

INSURANCE FORUM: Third part of our series with outside professionals. Presented by Rose 
H. Schaler, insurance broker, member of council of Insurance Brokers of Greater NY Inc. & 
Life Underwriters Asso. of the City of NY Inc.; and Larry Grant; Exec VP of Chubbs Corp. 
Rose will discuss basic insurance needs of the indie, i.e. health, life, workmen's comp. liability. 
Larry will address special entertainment risk packages, i.e. production equipment, etc. 



THE INDEPENDENT is published 10 times yearly by 
the Foundation for Independent Video and Film, Inc., 99 
Prince St., NY, NY 10012, with support from the New 
York State Council on the Arts and the National Endow- 
ment for the Arts, a federal agency. Subscription 
included in membership to the organization. 



is 



Editor: Bill Jones 

Associate Editor: Rich Berkowitz 

Layout & Design: Bill Jones 

Typesetting: Josephine Coppa, Compositype Studios 

Editorial Consultant: Modern Iconography 



As most have noticed, numerous changes have been made in 
the format and contents of the past three issues of the FIVF/ 
AIVF Newsletter. The changes in format (Typesetting, binding 
etc.) were made for practical as well as aesthetic considerations. 
This must be made clear since there has been considerable 
feedback showing concern over the extra money assumed to 
have been spent for the "sprucing up" effort. In fact, the use of 
the typesetter pays for itself since the compacting of the 
information makes for a lighter package (cheaper to mail) and 
we've eliminated the expense of mailing envelopes (and there- 
fore the expense of stuffing the envelopes). At the same time, 
through the aid of our editorial consultant, and the donations 
of time and talent by others, regular features and departments 
have been instituted. Along these lines, if you have any infor- 
mation on AIVF members' screenings or successes, or if you'd 
like to submit articles or ideas for articles, write to me c/o The 
Independent. Feel free to contact me about any ideas con- 
cerning The Independent, no matter how large or small. 

My thanks to those who continue to work unselfishly so that 
this publication may exist. ec j , 



CONTENTS 

Media Awareness Update 
Term Paper From The President 

Film Clinic / Screenings 

Business 
Regional Report 

Sexism In The Media 9 

A Statement By Pacific Coast Video / Festivals 10 



3 

4 

6 

7 
8 



AIVF Classifieds 



11 



The viewpoints expressed herein do not necessarily re- 
flect the opinion of the Board of Directors— they are as 
diversified as our member and staff contributors. 

We welcome your response in the form of letters, re- 
views, articles or suggestions. As time and space are of 
the essence we can't guarantee publication. Please send 
your material to: THE INDEPENDENT, 99 Prince St., 
NY, NY 10012. If you'd like your material returned to 
you please enclose a self-addressed stamped envelope. 

NOTE: All submissions to newsletter due by 15th of 
month preceeding publication, preferrably earlier. 




Press Reception, Carnegie II 



THE INDEPENDENT APRIL 1979 



MEDIA AWARENESS UPDATE 

IN PUBLIC WE TRUST 

A Public Trust or "Carnegie II", the report by the 
Carnegie Commission on the Future of Public Broad- 
casting, was released at a press conference on Jan. 23rd 
at the Carnegie International Center. 

The creation of a Program Services Endowment as they 
have outlined would mean increased funding to indepen- 
dents.* We must actively work to insure that the intent 
of the report is specifically mandated in enabling legis- 
lation. The report covers a lot of ground and there are 
many areas in which we have proposals for implemen- 
tation. 

In response to the report, the AIVF Media Awareness 
Project recently held a conference/party to encourage 
discussion on the report of the Carnegie Commission on 
the Future of Public Broadcasting. The reception was 
held at the home of Martha Stuart, a noted video artist. 
AIVF's response is entitled "Beyond Carnegie II". 

The AIVF praised the goals of the Carnegie Commis- 
sion's report and the Commission's purpose and hard 
work. Independents generally approved the Carnegie 
report, but felt certain points necessitated elaboration or 
modification to insure that the intent of the report is not 
lost in enabling legislation. The following is an excerpt 
from AIVF's response to the Carnegie Commission 
Report. 

INTRODUCTION 

We support the spirit and intent of the Carnegie II 
report. The AIVF supports the recommendations for 
increased federal support, separation of programming 
and administration, the insulation of programming 
from political control, public accountability and the 
support of American creative talent. However, we 
believe that in order to insure that the intent of the 
report is carried out, substantive mechanisms are 
necessary in enabling legislation which mandate 
protection of independents and the public. Carnegie I 
had a lot of beautiful language but its recommen- 
dations were not truly implemented. Failure to 
monitor the system allowed it to develop in ways 
which do not provide the American public with the 
vital and diverse system they deserve. 

We applaud the increased funds to independents and 
the options available for alternative distribution. 
However, independent work must not be isolated in 
the Center and/ or restricted to alternative broadcast 
mechanisms. Diversity should be the bedrock of the 
entire public television system. Incentives for the 
promotion and broadcasting of independents work 
should be built into the overall funding structure. To 
insure full participation, independents should be 
appointed to all programming and technological 
committees. 

Carnegie II marks a watershed in public television. 
The independent's role is timely and crucial. We 
applaud the goals of the Carnegie report. Our purpose 
is to propose mechanisms for implementation. 



SUMMARY 

CENTER FOR INDEPENDENT WORK: AIVF strongly 
supports this department as a way to nourish existing 
production entities and centers. The role of the Center 
should be to advocate the interests of independents. 
Procedures for grievances must be established as well 
as a mechanism to monitor the relationship of 
independents to public television. We applaud the 
Commission's support of production by independents 
and the availability of alternative outlets for distri- 
bution. But th Center must not be the only avenue of 
support. Independents must have full access to the 
Endowment. Independents' work must not be isolated 
in the Center nor restricted to alternative broadcast 
mechanisms. 

FUNDING: Incentives for the promotion and 
broadcast of independents' work and local public 
affairs programming should be built into the overall 
funding structure. The Association supports a tax on 
the excess profits of commercial stations, networks 
and satellite operations. FCC figures on commercial 
station finances must be made public. Corporate 
support must be structured in order to preclude 
program influence. 

MINORITIES: Minorities should not be restricted to 
"minority" projects but be part of the mainstream for 
all productions and activities. In addition, a priority 
of the system should be to create substantial 
programming to appeal to minority audiences; more 
research and analysis is insufficient. 

ENDOWMENT/TRUST: The AIVF applauds Carnegie 
II' s support of production and mechanisms for 
alternative distribution of programming. However, we 
believe that it is crucial for public broadcasting to 
insure a mechanism for the airing of the wealth and 
diversity of programming produced by independents. 
Peer review must be included as an integral part of 
decision making. 

PUBLIC ACCOUNTABILITY: Boards should reflect the 
various constituencies of the Public rather than the 
Industry. AIVF advocates procedural steps for 
eventual open Board elections at all community 
stations. Financial disclosures should apply to 
Endowment and Trust Boards and Management. 

EDUCATION: Independents should be allowed to 
contribute their cost-effective and imaginative 
approaches. The role of educational television should 
be to create a critical awareness of the media on the 
part of the viewer. Educational television should make 
use of small independent productions. 

DEVELOPING TECHNOLOGIES: Democratic access to 
low-cost satellite distribution is of vital concern. In 
addition, independents and the public must be 
included on all satellite programming and 
technological committees. 



*We define "independents" as those persons who are not regularly 
employed by any corporation, network, institution or agency which 
determines either the form or the content of the materials which he or 
she produces. 



THE INDEPENDENT APRIL 1979 



TERM PAPER FROM THE PRESIDENT 

This marks the last newsletter of this board's term, and 
seems like a good space to give a brief report. Renewal 
notices are coming in at such a rate that it's hard for the 
office to process them all. We should be well over 1000 
members when they're counted. The new CETA term is 
beginning and by October, we will have placed 30 new film 
and video makers into CETA positions — as pool crews, as 
individual artists, as interns and as administrative 
assistants in the FIVF offices. Our new newsletter gets better 
& better and now has a CETA artist Bill Jones as editor. 
Short Film Showcase is chugging along, with 14 films soon to 
be on the national theatre circuit, and procedures are 
beginning to increase that by another ten in the coming 
year. SFS is also researching the possibility of turning some 
of their valuable experience and contacts into some sort of 
use by those independents who are working in the feature 
format. (More of this in a later issue) The advocacy work 
continues to grow in importance and in influence. All in all: 
a very productive year. The most farreaching event of this 
term was the appointment of Alan Jacobs as Executive 
Director. If we can save him from burn out and exhaustion, 
AIVF is in great hands. 

One nagging problem, however, is the lack of enough 
assured and discretionary money. The grant situation is pre- 
carious, as everyone knows. FIVF's constant dependency on 
the yearly appropriations of the state arts council and the 
NEA media panel doesn't breed autonomy. The 
"independence" of both FIVF and AIVF is DEPENDENT on 
YOU and ME. Somehow we have to sustain ourselves. The 
Foundation must have money to initiate pilot projects and to 
bridge fiscal crises between grant terms. The AIVF advocacy 
work is TOTALLY dependent on membership money. In the 
coming year if any of you receive increased funding through 
the legislation which we have fought for, I hope you will 
remember us and send something to continue this work. I'm 
sure there are plenty of corporations who would be glad to 
give us a little something (provided we alter a few of our 
stands). Co-optation money abounds in the arts these days. 
Keep us pure: SEND MONEY. 

Speaking of co-optation, I attended my first board meeting of 
the American Film Institute on March 9. It was a seductive 
set up — first a lobster dinner with the stars at the Alfred 
Hitchcock award fest, next day an elegant luncheon at the 
Greystone Mansion with asparagus and strawberries. (The 
way to a revolutionary's heart.) The board meeting was 
chaired by "Chuck" Heston, who intoned the agenda items 
as if they were inscribed on stone tablets. The board itself 
was short on stars, but long on HEAVIES, such as Jack 
Valenti (he never said a word, but every report seemed aimed 
in his direction). There were even some other women — Fay 
Kanin, screenwriter, whose Friendly Fire will soon be on 
network TV, Eleanor Perry (AIVF member!) and Marsha 



Mason, star. Andre Gottfreund, the representative of youth 
on the board (the Institute's alumni president) sat with us 
women. We have to pool our strength, he said. No show of 
force was necessary, as the whole thing was a well 
orchestrated report on the glories of AFI. Livingston Biddle 
from the NEA was there to "initiate a new era of cooperation 
between AFI and NEA." What THAT will mean to the 
independent community will have to be watched closely. I 
hope that AIVF's participation on the board won't mean co- 
optation, but that the recognition of our strength will 
influence AFI to become accountable to a larger community 
of media people than those exclusively engaged in the 
"entertainment industry". 

While in California, I met with a large group of San 
Francisco media people at a meeting organized by Larry 
Hall's Committee to Save KQED and the Film Arts 
Foundation. FAF is a rapidly growing group interested in 
equipment sharing and strong advocacy. They have grown to 
over 200 members this year and their energy and organiza- 
tional talents were well demonstrated at this meeting which 
packed the Media Access Center at Fort Mason. It was a real 
California crowd with everyone from the save-the-whale- 
tape-makers to the Synanon media crew to a militant black 
group from Oakland. Three people were there from 
Sacramento officialdom: Jerry Brown knows where the 
action is. Also there were Josh Hanig and Skip Blumberg, 
two familiar ex-East Coast faces. Josh's new film Song of the 
Canary is having predictable problems getting on PBS. It 
deals with work place health conditions, an issue that 
corporate PR television has little interest in sponsoring. 

Which brings me to the Carnegie Commission. This news- 
letter contains a condensation of a report that the PTV 
committee did on Carnegie. There are pragmatic and political 
reasons for the committee's position-endorsing the increased 
funding and setting up of an endowment for programming. I 
personally DO NOT endorse Carnegie II. There is nothing in 
its recommendations that would change the existing 
structures of control. These are increasingly elitist and 
corporate. The report has been entitled A Public Trust and 
we are all asked to trust that the PTV establishment (with a 
little reshuffling and a lot more money) will "enlighten and 
guide" the American public. I see no reason why the public 
should trust anything in the current system, least of all a 
continuance of the elitest "enlightenment" that now 
predominates. Trust isn't the answer: CONTROL is. Public 
television will only begin to change when it is in the public's 
control, through open board elections and community 
participation in programming decisions and program 
making. 

Those of us in the New York (and Newark) area are going to 
have to spend some time organizing directly around the 
issue of Channel 13. Carnegie II recently released freedom- 
of-information material about the Nixon years vis a vis 



THE INDEPENDENT APRIL 1979 



public television. What we in NY have to remember (and 
what Carnegie and the NTIA don't mention) is that Iselin 
was appointed as a direct result of the White House/ 
Whitehead pressure that these documents delineate. James 
Day, whose WNET presidency produced such dangerous 
programs as The Great American Dream Machine and The 
Banks and The Poor, was a main target of Nixon's tactics. 
WNET's board removed Day and appointed Iselin in a move 
to eliminate progressive political content. Nixon's man at 
CPB (Henry Loomis) has now been replaced, but Iselin 
lingers on. Channel 13 is the largest PTV station and sets the 
tone for much that goes on in the system as a whole. The 
Nixonian doctrine of soft cultural programming continues to 
emanate from the WNET production center. It's time to 
pressure for change. 

Channel 13 has recently come under fire from the FCC for 
not attending to their community of license — Newark. 
Looking at their present schedule (the British Shakespeare 
productions; the new Mobilpiece Theatre, Lillie; and the new 
series of OLD Hollywood musicals), we can see that they are 
not attending to their creative community either. Perhaps 
the next step is a license challenge. 

Meaningful change at PTV is going to come from challenge, 
not from trusting the Trust. Carnegie II is what one might 
expect from an endowment whose founder, Andrew 
Carnegie, wrote in his autobiography, appropriately entitled, 
A Gospel of Wealth: 

"When visiting the Sioux, I was led to the wigwam of 
their chief. It was like the others in external 
appearance, and even within the difference was 
trifling. The contrast between the palace of the million- 
aire and the cottage of the laborer with us to-day, 
measures the change which has come with civilization 
... a change not to be deplored, but welcomed as 
highly beneficial. The problem of our age is the prob- 
lem of the proper administration of wealth, that the 
ties of brotherhood may still bind together the rich 
and poor in harmonious relationship." 

Upstairs and downstairs . . . Civilization or barbarism . . . 
Well, we all know what happened to the Indians. 

Dee Dee Halleck 



THE VOTES ARE IN 

On March 20th the ballots for the 1979 Board of 
Directors were counted. Ballots were marked in 
descending order/giving the member's first choice 11 
votes, 2nd choice 10 votes, and so on. We would like to 
thank everyone who ran for office and hope that those 
who were not elected this time will continue to be 
active in the organization. Here are the results: 

Dee Dee Halleck 473 

Kathy Kline 427 

Stew Bird 337 

Jane Morrison 333 

Matt Clarke 326 

Manny Kirchheimer 305 

Kitty Morgan 291 

Jeff Byrd 286 

Eli Noyes 253 

Pablo Figueroa 252 

Maxi Cohen 226 

Alternates: (will replace Board Members unable to 
serve) 

Ted Timreck 210 

Monica Freeman 204 

David Liu 198 

PUBLICATIONS 

The independent film video guide, (volume 1, #1 Winter 
78/79) an index to works exhibited by non-commercial 
film and video showcases in New York City and New 
York State has just been published by the Education 
Film Library Association (EFLA). The publication is 
intended to serve as a selective guide to independent 
video and film, and includes contact addresses for each 
producer whose work is listed. For further information 
call: EFLA Reference Librarian, 212-246-4533. 

The "Taft Foundation Reporter", an extensive guide to 
locating foundation grants is now on sale at $195.00 per 
copy. For further information write: Taft Corp., 1000 
Vermont Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C. 20005. (Cost 
includes 12 monthly issues of News Monitor/Taft Report). 

"Guide to Women's Art Organizations" is available at 
$4.50 per copy from Women Artists News, c/o Midmarch 
Associates, PO Box 3304, Grand Central Station, NYC 
10017. 

Public television: "The Greatest Educational and 
Cultural Bargain in New York State" is a new infor- 
mational pamphlet that seeks to answer questions most 
commonly asked about public television in New York 
State. Write: Association of Public Television Stations 
of New York, 120 Washington Avenue, Albany, NY 
12210. 

Equipment Loan Handbook for Young Filmmakers/ 
Video Arts has listings for more than 100 items 
available to media producers and exhibitors which are 
described along with general information, operating 
principles, and equipment loan services $3.50 per copy. 
May be obtained in person or by mail with check payable 
to Young Filmmakers Foundation, Inc., 4 Rivington 
Street, New York, NY 10002. 



THE INDEPENDENT APRIL 1979 



FILM CLINIC by Sol Rubin 

STEADY IMAGES IN A SHAKY WORLD 

Audiences are conditioned to view a steady photograph 
on the screen. A tripod, we are told, is the only thing 
that makes this possible (with the recent exception of 
the costly Steadicam). Since a tripod may not always be 
practical or possible, enter the SHOULDER BRACE. 
Most of the brand name braces are heavy, clumsy, 
expensive and may not necessarily fit the contours of 
your particular shoulder. 

You can make your own personalized camera support for 
$2. to $5., as I have done, without access to a machine 
shop. Get a metal plate about 4 inches wide and about 
16 to 18 inches long, depending on the camera model you 
intend to use and on your body dimensions. Bend the 
metal plate between the pipes of a steam radiator or 
similar gear. Shape the plate to fit your shoulder and 
chest (see illustration). Pre-test the camera on your 
shoulder brace for comfortable viewing and mark the 
tripod socket area. A Vi-20 thread tap is ideal. Otherwise, 
drill a simple hole to clear the way for the screw to hold 
the camera. 

If you have difficulties bending the plate, use two 
thinner metal plates. The first one serves as a 'proto- 
type'. The second piece of metal acts as a support. The 
two metal components, now shaped to fit your own 
shoulder, are easily joined with a few small nuts and 
bolts. 

Now, glue on thick foam rubber squares, with empty 
spaces about l A inch apart, beneath the shoulder brace. 
The rubber squares will prevent slippage. All told, this 
approach is superior to the traditional one-piece shoulder 
brace. Paint stores sell adhesives like Weldwood which 
will effectively bond both metal and rubber. You may 
spray the new creation with black paint or cover it with 
masking tape. If members are interested, I would be 
happy to demonstrate a few of the shoulder braces. 
Please let The Independent know and we can plan to do 
this. 




INDEPENDENT SCREENINGS 

The Independent features screenings and broadcasts of works 
by AIVF members. If you are a current member and have a 
screening or airing please send pertinent information to The 
Independent, 99 Prince St., NYC 10012. 

At Global Village, 454 Broome St.: April 6, 8:00 p.m. Ginny 
Bourne presents the work of black women film and video 
artists; April 13, 8:00 p.m., "Observer Observed and Talking 
To Myself" by Taka-I imura; April 27, 7:00 p.m., "Paterson — 
City Like A Man" by John Antici. 

At The School of Visual Arts Room 111, 209 E. 23rd St.: 
April 16, 8:00 p.m., Peter Bode, Synthesized imagery-video; 
April 30, 8:00 p.m., Jane Brettschneider, video narratives about 
art, literature and film. 

At Anthology Video Program, at the Holly Solomon Gallery, 
392 West Broadway: May 6th, 8:00 p.m., "C.A.P.S. Video 
Recipients for 1979, featuring works by Mitchell Kriegman; 
May 20th, 8:00 p.m., Philip and Gunilla Mallory Jones, "Black, 
White & Married". 



AND ON THE TUBE 

PBS will devote three hours of prime time to the "Black Man's 
Land" series, three films on history and politics in Africa. 
Already widely acclaimed by film critics and scholars in 
African studies, the series will be shown on three consecutive 
nights, beginning April 3, at 10:00 p.m.. The series consists of: 
"White Man's Country," on the imposition of colonial rule and 

the origins of African resistance; 

"Mau Mau," on the national liberation movement in Kenya 

in the late 1950s; 

"Kenyatta," a biography of Kenya's late president. 

David Koff is producer of the series and Musindo Mwinyipembe, 
the series narrator, will host the broadcast. SoHo Television, 
available on both Manhattan Cable and Teleprompter Cable 
Television, as well as at 8 p.m. Monday evenings on Channel 10 
and at 3 p.m. Thursdays on Channel C. will be presenting 
works by Nam June Paik, Christa Maiwald, and Susan Russel. 
"Time and Space Concepts" featuring Nam June Paik, will air 
on April 9 & 16. "Art Video, Performance I" works by Christa 
Maiwald and Susan Russell will air May 14. 

"Who Remembers Mama?", an hour long, award winning 
documentary film examining the plight of the divorced middle- 
aged homemaker, airs nationally Wednesday, April 18, at 10 
p.m. (EST). Co-produced and written by Cynthia Salzman 
Mondell and Allen Mondell, the Film examines the emotional 
and financial devastation experienced by these women when 
they lose their roles as homemakers through divorce. 

Note: Input Video is inviting independents to submit tapes (3/4 
pref.) for their monthly video screening series. Write for info, to 
Input Video, 2001 W. Scott St. Milwaukee Wisconson 53204. 



Sol Rubin demonstrating his shoulder brace. 



N.Y. INDEPENDENT FILM ANIMATORS 

On Thursday evening, March 15, 1979 the regular meeting of 
New York Independent Film Animators was held for the first 
time at the FIVF loft. Approximately sixty people attended 
and many films from personal experiments to polished 
commercial projects were shown. The meetings will be held 
every month and are open to all animators and those interested 
in animation. The next meeting will be held at 99 Prince St. on 
Wed. April 18 at 7:00 PM. 



THE INDEPENDENT APR I L 1 979 



BUSINESS by Mitchell W. Block 

BORROWING SHORT TERM MONEY 

Question: "I've been borrowing money on my VISA card 
and they charge me 1.5% a month. Is there a cheaper 



way?" 

Answer: Filmmakers never seem to have enough money. 
Borrowing money either for the short term (less than a 
year) or for longer terms always presents the problem of 
finding the money to pay back the loan when it is due. 
Banks and other financial organizations that loan money 
to businesses tend to shy away from high risk areas like 
film production or seem willing only to loan money to 
you when you don't need it. There are many kinds of 
loans available to individuals (or companies) that your 
friendly banker can review with you. Because of space 
limitations I will only be able to outline a few. There are 
cheapter ways of borrowing money — your VISA card 
really is one of the more expensive ways. 

1. Get to know your friendly banker. Introduce your- 
self to your local branch manager. That way when 
you come to them for money — they at least feel 
they have seen you before. Banks are in the business 
of loaning money; your checking account is not where 
they make their profits. 

2. Pass Book Loan — This is the simplest kind of loan 
to get. What happens is the bank is loaning you 
your money. That is, the money you have in your 
savings account is being used as collateral and the 
bank is "giving" you your money for 1 to 4 points 
over what they are paying you in interest. Loan 
rates vary — so you can shop around. A "point" is 
the interest on the loan, expressed in interest 
"points" per year. ($100 at 10 points for 1 year 
costs $10) Since the bank only pays you 5 to 6% per 
year on your savings account one can see that 
"loaning" you your savings account money for 7% 
to 12% is profitable. Your savings account continues 
to earn interest and you pay the bank the dif- 
ference between the two. (Interests you pay on loans 
is deductable from your taxes.) Assuming your bank 
charges you 2 points over your savings interest, 
this loan "only" costs $2 per hundred dollars per 
year (or $.50 per quarter). This is a good kind of 
loan to start off with. If you pay it back when it is 
due, it will help establish your credit "history" so 
when you need a different kind of loan, it will be 
easier to get. Of course, if you have the funds in 
your savings account it is easier to dip in and use 
those funds and also cheaper. But this is a good 
way of establishing credit, and a way to start a 
relationship with your banker. 

3. Personal Loans — 'No Collateral' are my personal 
favorite. These loans can be arranged through credit 
unions, banks and savings and loans, and finance 
companies (these organizations charge the most and 
are best avoided since they can charge from 15% 
to 24%!). Your bank or savings and loan co. (assum- 
ing you don't belong to a credit union) is the best 
place to go. They will charge 10 to 16%. This rate 
is a function of the "prime rate" (the rate they 
charge their "best customers") and other consider- 



ations; your average balances, credit worthiness, 
etc. Usually, your rate would be 1.5% to 3% over 
"prime". These notes are usually for short terms — 
30 to 180 days. They are payable in full at their 
maturity and interest is computed on the number of 
days the loan is outstanding and on an annual basis. 
Thus borrowing $5,000 for 90 days at 12% costs 
$150 instead of $228 which is what a 1.5% (30 day) 
credit card loan for the same period would cost. This 
kind of loan is good to float contract payments if 
you're making a film on a grant or contract where 
you get a certain percent when you reach certain 
stages. (AFI Grants sometimes take 6 weeks to pay 
on requests, for example, so you might borrow to 
pay the lab for the three prints and CRI to get a 
break for paying cash. 

Banks sometimes try to sell you an installment loan, 
where you make 12 to 50 payments a year. These 
cost more and you must pay back some very month. 
Try to avoid these if you can. Interest payments 
are loaded in at the head of the loan and there is 
usually an extra charge if you prepay. (Pay the loan 
off before is it due). Short term notes usually have 
a minimum interest charge of $50 and there are 
usually no penalties for prepayment as long as the 
minimum interest is paid. These notes can some- 
times be rolled over, that is you re-borrow the 
amount at the end of the term — with a new in- 
terest rate again based on the prime. 

Of course, borrowing money for short terms may not fit 
your capital needs. For the independent film or video 
maker there are always capital problems. From where 
will funds come to buy prints for self-distribution, pay 
for ads, printing, raw stock or what ever? Your bank or 
credit union is a good place to get to know, since they 
are used to dealing with small businesses. It is 
important not to do a 'New York City,' by borrowing 
money to pay for current expenses like rent, lab bills, 
Kodak, etc. It is good business to borrow money against 
secured receivables (print orders from governments), 
contracts (from legit companies), and grants (from state 
and federal sources). Money for equipment buys and 
financing growth and/or expansion should come from 
other sources or be for terms longer than 6 months. 

In the next issue of The Independent I'll deal with 
financing film equipment and other kinds of loans. 

© MWB 1979 

In the Feb./Mar. issue there were several errors in the 
Business column. The table is reprinted correctly here: 

Sales 100 Copies 200 Copies 300 Copies 

Selling Price $ 340.00 $ 340.00 $ 340.00 

Gross Income (1) $34,000.00 $68,000.00 $102,000.00 

20% Royalty $ 6,800.00 $13,600.00 $ 20,400.00 

25% Royalty (2) $ 8,500.00 $17,000.00 $ 25,500.00 

Variable Royalty (3) 8,500.00 $17,850.00 $ 28,050.00 

notes: 

1. Gross Income is the number of prints sold times the 
selling price 

2. Royalty is 20% or 25% of the Gross Income at each 
of the three levels of sales 

3. Variable Royalty represents 25% of Gross Income at 
100 prints, 27.5% of sales on the next 100 prints and 
30% on the next 100, etc. 



THE INDEPENDENT APRIL 1979 



REGIONAL REPORT 

This month's report comes from Paul Kleyman, Editor 
of "Video Networks" at Bay Area Video Coalition. 

Video activity in the San Francisco Bay Area during the 
wet winter months of 1979 peaked in February with 
three major gatherings for women in media, public 
access cable programmers and the general body of 
videophiles. 

During its three days, "Video Expo," despite its in- 
dustrial and institutional emphasis, enabled hundreds of 
independents to review advances in small-format 
manufacturing and to mingle productively among other 
producers and business contacts. The costly seminars 
attracted mixed assessments, though an access group 
from distant Antelope Valley was especially pleased 
with workshops on lighting and cost-effectiveness. 

In from Washington, D.C., for the Expo, was the Cor- 
poration for Public Broadcasting's (CPB) head of 
training programs, Daniel del Solar. "This is my in- 
service training," he told us. "If women, minorities and 
others trying to enter broadcasting through public 
channels are to do so in significant numbers, we have to 
know how to train them as efficiently as the corpora- 
tions. That's why I'm here, and I am learning a great 
deal." 

Wedged among manufacturers and the hard-core soft- 
wear stalls was the Bay Area Video Coalition in a booth 
donated by the Expo. 



The National Federation of Local Cable Programmers 
(NFLCP) held its first California Chapter meeting over 
four days at the Southern Alameda County access 
Channel 3. More than 40 people from 10 stations agreed 
to establish a separate issues advocacy group, while 
maintaining the NFLCP's open character as a confluence 
of commercial and community cable interests. 

At San Francisco State University, Bay Area feminists 
in media packed three days of panels, workshops and 
screenings. Also, many film and video independents 
were expected to join a March 10 seminar on media and 
politics keynoted by visiting AIVF president Dee Dee 
Halleck. 



The BAVC announced a $25,000 administrative grant 
from the San Francisco Foundation and $50,000 for its 
"Western Exposure" broadcast production from the 
CPB. 

To fulfill its mandate to bridge independents with public 
television stations in California, the BAVC has delivered 
more than $150,000 in funds and technical services to 
six independent productions, under the overall title of 
"Western Exposure." 

Chosen by a panel of broadcasters and independents 
from 55 proposals, the six tapes explore wind energy 
research; activism from a wheel chair; a women's 
independent record company; Angela Davis in her role as 
a teacher; Clarence Muse, at 90, the dean of Black 



motion picture actors, and 10 poems by top California 
poets. Competition is expected by early summer. 

Otherwise: the Bay Area's Committee for Children's 
Television led testimony at the Federal Trade Com- 
mission's children's viewing hearings ... At Video Free 
America, with video repeat at Demystavision in March, 
Gene Youngblood, outlining his coming book, The 
Future of Desire, defined revolution in mass society as 
the ability of each individual to talk back to the system 
(conversation as opposed to one-way communication). In 
reviewing the latest communications developments and 
trends, he declared that true tele-democracy is possible 
but unlikely. . . The California State Library called for 
tapes by independents for its statewide pilot video 
circuit. About 25 libraries, each paying $5,000 for the 
introductory program, will receive VHS playback 
equipment and circulate a different packet of video 
programs each month for two years. Most programming 
will be of the Time-Life variety, but the program's 
coordinator hopes to inject as much as an hour of 
independent productions per packet. . . . Nearly 7V2 
million feet of newsfilm and historical footage from 
Sacramento's NBC affiliate MCRA has been turned over 
to the Sacramento Museum's History Department. 
MCRA's news department is the largest on the West 
Coast and is utilized by the network for much of its 
regional coverage. Cataloguing will take as much as a 
year, but researchers can gain limited access now. 

PLANS SET FOR APRIL CONFERENCE 

The steering committee of the 1979 National Conference 
of Media Arts Centers, to be hosted by the FIVF this 
April, met in New York in February to finalize the list of 
conferences and lay down the framework for an agenda. 

Geared to organizations devoted to the support of 
independent film and video, the conference's aims are: 1) 
to encourage the organization to work more closely 
together; 2) to address national policy issues facing the 
field and 3) to share information in such areas as 
management and fund-raising, crucial to the survival of 
these organizations, most of which are fewer than 10 
years old. Among topics for discussion will be: insurance 
for facilities and equipment, the relationship between 
media arts centers and broadcast facilities, legislation 
for independents, interfacing organizational needs with 
those of the individual artist. After the conference we 
will draw up and distribute a report on the conference so 
that those who could not be in attendance will be able to 
benefit directly from our meetings. 

From the point of view of an individual artist, what is 
the significance of this conference? These organizations 
will be working to strengthen the services they provide 
for their constituents. From equipment access for 
artists, the exhibition of innovative film and video, work- 
shops, archives, and more, hundreds and thousands of 
independent film and video makers are now drawing on 
those services. As the organizations are able to stream- 
line and reinforce their work, the effect will soon be felt 
in the field: better access to free or low-rate equipment, 
exhibitions, even places to preserve the best of our work. 



8 



THE INDEPENDENT APRIL 1979 



SEXISM IN THE MEDIA: 
ANOTHER ROUND FOR 
OLD TIMES' SAKE 

On Tuesday, March 13 AIVF and Women Make Movies 
co-sponsored an evening billed as Sexism in the Media. 
In addition to screening films, four speakers were 
supposedly prepared to "plunge into the controversial 
topic of sexist images in the media." The program was 
to start at 7:30. Due to the usual technical difficulties it 
was 8:30 when it actually began. The 50 or 60 people in 
the audience were polite and patient. Jim Gaffney spoke 
briefly for AIVF; Janet Benn for Women Make Movies, 
after which we saw four films: Janie 's Janie, a Newsreel 
film from the early 70s; No Lies, a film about rape and 
other things by Mitchell Block; Women in Defense, a 
silly government film from the 40s promoting women's 
roles in defense by sewing (referred to as a woman's 
'natural skill'), cooking, lab research and so on; and 
Marguerite, a recent rather empty animated film from 
California. As I watched this motley selection I couldn't 
help but wonder how these films were going to stimulate 
the evening's discussion. With the exception of No Lies, 
which is a painful expose of how cameras and camera 
operators manipulate, oppress, rape their 'victims' (in 
this case a recent rape victim retelling her story through 
an actress), none of the films spoke to the issue of 
sexism in the media. Were we in the audience thought to 
be a group of people who had never been exposed to 
films made by women and who needed an introductory 
course? Or was there something radically new for most 
of us who have seen them (and many others like them) 
to glean this time around? The films stimulated no 
more than five minutes of discussion after which we 
were urged to listen to the panelists. If you had kept 
reasonably informed of feminist film criticism or even if 
you'd just seen a number of films by women, Anne 
Kaplan (English Prof, at Rutgers) had nothing 
particularly new to say. She did categorize the two 
aesthetic/political polarities evident in films by women: 
the first, like Janie's Janie, encourages identification 
with the subject matter, seeks a kind of documentary 
'truth' in which the viewer is essentially passive. The 
second type — avant-garde (ahem) feminist cinema — 
wants the viewer to be active, not lulled to sleep, wants 
the viewer to be 'separate from' the screen, to know that 
s/he is watching an illusion rather than being sucked in 
to a dreamworld. Unfortunately, as Kaplan stated, the 
avant-gardists don't manage to attract a mass audience, 
and specialized as their audience is, still don't manage to 
be too effective. So much for purity, in spite of honorable 
intentions. 

Next, Chris Choy (filmmaker, head of 3rd World News- 
reel) spoke mostly about the added pressures of being 
Asian-American, and how bureaucracies box artists in on 
the basis of their sex, color and race, in addition to 
prevailing upon artists who want government monies to 
conform to the bureaucracy's notion of what should be 
made. Rather than speak to sexism in the media, Chris 
Choy spoke about the particular problem of being an 
Asian-Amerian female filmmaker wanting to make films 
about subjects other than being female and Asian- 
American, and the frustration of trying to get funded by 
the government given their proclivity to pigeonhole. 
After she spoke, someone in the audience took note of 



the time and requested that perhaps we might have 
some audience participation before hearing the other two 
panelists because at the rate it was moving along the 
panelists would finish at 10:30. Jim Gaffney rejected 
this request and asked that we allow the panelists to 
continue. Robert Brannon, editor of The 40% Majority 
spoke briefly about the subject of his book, and about 
the men who are trying not to be sexist and who 
consider themselves feminists. Other than a brief 
personal appraisal of some of Hollywood's so-calld 
women's films, the topic of sexism in the media was not 
addressed. He cited the role played by Vanessa 
Redgrave in Julia as a good sign — a substantial 
women's role in which a women is portrayed as strong, 
active, intelligent and beautiful. How could he forget the 
price she paid — crippled and separated from her child, 
to name just two of the fairly clear media messages. 
Marshall Blonsky (instructor at the New School) did 
come prepared to speak to the topic, albeit through 
psycho- or psychoanalytic-semiology. He brought a few 
slides and after a fairly long-winded and unnecessarily 
obtuse mini-lecture he attempted to point up just how 
we are manipulated by advertising images in particular, 
and how large a part our sexuality plays in the Whole 
game. He is a smart man and he had the power to 
disseminate some potentially very useful information. 
Instead, he chose to mystify most of the audience with 
his jargon and patronize us. By this time — it was 10:30 
— most of the audience felt as victimized by the evening 
as they are by the media. There was neither the time (we 
had to be out by 11) nor the energy for pursuing the 
dialogue that we had obviously wanted. 
Sitting there, and in thinking about other panels I had 
attended, I began to really question the usefulness of 
panels per se. Isn't there some other way in which so- 
called experts can share their ideas with us? After all, is 
the gap so wide in our professionalism, our expertise, our 
status, that there need be a table and chairs at the front 
of the room behind which the panel is protected and 
separated from the rest of us? Would it not be more 
democratic, more interesting if people sat in some sort of 
a circle wherein one small group were not so exclusive 
and powerful in relation to the other? And if these 
people are experts, surely their knowledge can be shared 
in a more spontaneous forum, more responsive to the 
people present and their needs. If we look at films at 
such an event, shouldn't they be chosen carefully, seen 
and examined in context? If the films relate specifically 
to the evening's topic shouldn't we be able to see the 
relationship, and make some sort of synthesis from what 
we have seen and heard? After all, it is 1979. Sexism in 
the media has been around as a topic for at least a 
decade. If we haven't something new to contribute in 
terms of abolishing the still rampant sexism in the 
media, why are we devoting time and energy to plan or 
attend such a meeting? I often feel at panels that 
although my presence is visually, physically required for 
the purpose of filling a space, my intelligence, my 
creativity, my desire and need for communication are 
suppressed. And in this context, where I do expect some 
sensitivity in these matters, and where I would like to 
affirm my faith in the possibility of action toward 
change, only my anger is stirred. 

A. Lister 



THE INDEPENDENT APRIL 1979 



A STATEMENT BY 
PACIFIC COAST VIDEO 

The following statement was prepared for inclusion in a 
package sent to the FCC by Pacific Coast Video concerning 
difficulties encountered in airing their controversial production 
"The Challenge of a Stabilized Community". 

February 14, 1979 

Federal Communications Commission 
Washington D.C. 

Please place into the public file of KEYT Television, 
Santa Barbara, California, the enclosed package of 
material relating to our video documentary project, "The 
Challenge of a Stabilized Community." 

KEYT refused to sell Pacific Coast Video (PCV) one hour 
of non-prime airtime to broadcast our documentary 
concerning a subject of extreme local interest. While we 
do not question the right of KEYT to refuse to air any 
given program, we do object to KEYT's apparent 
position in governing what points of view may be 
expressed simply by arbitrarily proclaiming a program 
"too controversial." We suspect KEYT feared loss of 
advertising revenue and placed this above the concept of 
the free flow of information, a cornerstone in the foun- 
dation of American thought. Our documentary apparently 
did not meet KEYT's established criteria of innocuous- 
ness. 

PCV shares the concern of KEYT's management regard- 
ing the accuracy of the documentary content. We 
anticipated criticism of the material and charges of out- 
of-context interviews. While the interviews are, out of 
necessity, edited, the integrity of a speaker's position 
remains intact. PCV has on file all outtakes and notes 
for inspection by responsible parties. 

Further, KEYT has informed PCV, in essense, that air- 
time will, at no time, be available for our documentary 
efforts (enclosed letter dated 1/18/79). We are, in fact, the 
victims of prior censorship regarding future projects. 

Pacific Coast Video is a non-profit, tax exempt corpor- 
ation dedicated to producing television programming 
concerning issues of public interest. It was in this spirit 
"The Challenge..." was produced. Funded primarily 
with public monies (from the California Council for the 
Humanities in Public Policy and the City of Santa 
Barbara), "The Challenge..." is one hour of 
documentary journalism exploring the history of growth 
and development in Santa Barbara County. Because of 
Santa Barbara's abundant natural and architectural 
beauty, growth has been a hotly contested issue among 
pro-development interests and so-called environmental- 
ists. PCV is fully aware of the volatile nature of the 
documentary's content — this is the essense of inves- 
tigative journalism. Volatile and controversial content 
are not grounds for censorship. 

It should be pointed out that this issue of arbitrary 
censorship by KEYT has become acedemic — but no less 
important — in the fact that "The Challenge. . ." has 
been accepted for broadcast by KCET, Los Angeles, 
which is available to Santa Barbara County viewers 
through cable television and a series of translators. We, 



of course, applaude KCET for their courage and realiza- 
tion of a broadcaster's responsibility to his community. 

Pacific Coast Video feels that in a highly technological 
society the day must come when the independent 
electronic journalist (the producer of actuality television) 
enjoys the same freedom which has long been the 
unquestioned hallmark of the print media. 

Respectfully, 

Gordon Forbes, President 

Jim Eaton, Producer 

Pacific Coast Video 
635 Vi Chapala Street 
Santa Barbara CA 930101 

FESTIVALS 

Third Annual Stockton Spring Film Festival, for film 
and video artists from New Jersey. Entries will "be 
judged on the basis of creative and/or functional 
virtuosity". Deadline: April 10th. Contact John 
Columbus 609-652-1776 ext. 418. 

1979 Cindy Competition: Films, videotapes, slide films/ 
filmstrips and audio productions. Sponsored by Infor- 
mation Film Producers of America. Deadline: May 1, 
1979. For entry form and details write: IFPA National 
Office, Attention: Cindy Competition, 750 East Colorado 
Blvd., Pasadena, Ca. 91101 213-795-7866. 

The New England Film Festival 1979: Open to residents 
(and students) of New England. Films judged in two 
categories: Student and Independent. Deadline: April 
30th. For information: Harry Abraham, c/o Communities 
Studies Dept., 401 Machmer Hall, University of 
Massachusetts, Amherst, Mass. 01003 413-545-2260. 

PRESERVATION: The National Trust for Historic 
Preservation is sponsoring the 6th National Film and 
Video Competition, "Preserving the Historic 
Environment," for the purpose of "encouraging produc- 
tions that visually interpret perservation of the built 
environment in the United States." All films must be 
16mm and have optical or magnetic tracks if sound is 
used. Videotapes must be 3 A inch cassettes. Six $1,000 
prizes will be awarded. Productions must have been 
completed since January 1978, Contact Audiovisual 
Collections, National Trust for Historic Preservation, 
740-48 Jackson PL, NW, Washington, D.C. 20006. 



For the best preservation 
of your films (8mm, 16mm, 35mm). . . 

VACUUMATE CORPORATION 

114 W. 26 St., NY, NY 
Ph.(212)255-4674 

is pleased to extend to all Al VF/FIVF members 
a discount for services 



10 



THE INDEPENDENT APRIL 1979 



BUY/RENT/SELL 

FOR SALE: 50'/2 hour Sony Vi" Video 
Tapes (V-30H), black & white, exposed 
3ne time and played back one time. Best 
offer over $5.00 per tape. Please call 
Steve 212-490-0334. 

FOR SALE: 1-Frezzi-Flex 16mm silent 
reflex, sound camera with 24/25 fps, 
crystal motor which includes 12/18/30/ 
36/44 fps. variable speeds. Inching knob, 
behind the lens filter holders, drive belts, 
etc. 

1-Cinema Products orientable viewfinder 
3-Cinema Products Lexan 400' magazines 

with case 
3-Batteries with chargers 
1- Sound Barney 
1- Halliburton case 

All 6 months old and still under war- 
ranty. Excellent production camera. 
Asking $5000.00 Jonathan 212-691-0843. 

FOR SALE: Sony 8400 Color Video 
Portapak deck. Call Jeff 212-233-5851. 

FOR SALE: Moviola Junior Motorized 
Tabletop Editor. Handles 3 sound tracks 
(with built-in mixer) and one picture. 
$850.00 Robert Withers 212-690-8168 
212-873-1353 

FOR SALE: Arri-16S 3 Sneider lenses 
50mm, 25mm, 16mm Matt box, battery 
belt and case $2500.00 (used privately) 
call 212-431-9723. 

FOR SALE: CP-16R, double system, 
with case, 2 batteries, magazines and 
chargers and 9.5 to 95 Angenieux zoom 
lens. One owner one user. Camera three 
years old. Telephone Warren Wallace — 
354-4783. 

FOR SALE: UPRIGHT 16MM 
MOVIOLA. COMPLETELY REBUILT, 
1PIC head with Optical, 2 Sound Heads 
(both with Mag. and Optical) Used only 
Sundays by a little old film editor from 
Bayonne. Has New Sound Heads, 
motors, belts, bulbs, cords etc. . . Some 
service included in deal. ANY REASON- 
ABLE OFFER ACCEPTED. 
CONTACT: CARY (212) 533-0965. 

FOR SALE: Super 8 Equipment like 
new. Canon 814 Camera, 10:75 zoom 
lens, manual override exposure, 
automatic fade-in & out, $350 lists for 
$567. Eumig Sound Projector, $200. 
Argus Editor & Guillotine Splicer $50. 
Together in a package $500. Jane 
Morrison, 218 Thompson St., N.Y., N.Y. 
10012 (212) 674-1642. 

FOR RENT: Convenient midtown 
editing room with 6-plate Steenback with 
fast rewind. Fully equipped, cork wall, 
phone, typewriter, Reasonable rates for 
short or long-term rental. Call Kit at 212- 
866-4590 or 212-582-2836, or 516-363- 
5026 eves. 

FOR RENT: CPR 16 with studio rig and 
Angenieux 10-150mm, 200m. Low rates! 
Available daily, weekly or monthly. Call 
Sunrise Films 212-581-3614. 



AIVF CLASSIFIEDS* 



FOR RENT: Moviola Flatbed — six 
plate M77 in a brand new fully equipped 
editing room. Convenient midtown loca- 
tion. Available from March 30th. Low 
Rates. Call Sunrise Films 212-581-3614. 

STEENBECK FOR RENT: 6 and 8 
plates in fully equipped editing rooms. 24 
hour access, reasonable rates. Call Pat 
Maxam 212-242-0721. 

WANTED TO BUY - Angenieux 12-120 
zoom lens for arri-mount. Call Pat 212- 
242-0721. 

WANTED TO BUY OR RENT - 
Seamens Double System Projector. Call 
Rich at 212-966-0900. 

WANTED TO BUY - Zoom lens good 
for animation (C mount) and any other 
animation equipment. Carol Element, 
Artemisia, Box 11 Surprise, NY 12176 
(518) 966-5746. 

WANTED TO RENT - Arriflex with 
tele-photo lens, for three days in April. 
Call Ray at 212-987-1225. 

REWARD: Large reward offered for 
recovery of Aaton-7 16mm camera taken 
on March 16, 1979. CaU Ted at (212) 691- 
0536. 

OPPORTUNITIES/GIGS/ 
APPRENTICESHIPS 

EQUIPMENT LOAN ASST.: Non-profit 
access and production center is seeking 
someone to work in a media equipment 
loan program. Duties: Schedule and coor- 
dinate loans; explain services and equip- 
ment; evaluate and process applications; 
set fees and complete contracts; light 
typing and office work. Requires 
Bilingual Spanish/English; film produc- 
tion experience; a degree in communica- 
tions, film or related field is preferred. 
Salary — $9-10,000. Contact Gerry 
Pallor, Young Filmmakers/Video Arts, 4 
Rivington St., NYC NY 10002. 

Senior Clerk in Film Library — must 
have 3-5 years experience supervising 
clerical workers. Facility with AV equip- 
ment a necessity. Duties include schedul- 
ing and supervising a staff of 4 full time 
clerks, preparing statistical reports and 
general clerical work. Tact, initiative and 
a record of good interpersonal relation- 
ships are important. Salary: 
approximately $9,000. Send resume to: J. 
Semkow, Film Service, New Rochelle 
Public Library, 662 Main St., New 
Rochelle, NY 10805. NO PHONE 
CALLS, PLEASE. 

KBDI in Colorado, a new non-commercial 
experimental television station is 
interested in hiring an acquisition staff 
(salaried or commission basis) for 
programming independent works 
(features and docs.) Contact: John 
Schwartz. Front Range Educational 
Media Corporation, P.O. Box 4262, 
Boulder Colorado. 80306. (303) 665-9012. 



Wanted: Production Assistants for 
Feature. Very little pay but very good 
experience. Mark Rappaport, 16 Crosby 
St. New York, New York 10013, (212) 
966-7636. 

JOURNAL: AN ELECTRONIC 
MAGAZINE debuted on Theta Cable 
Public Access Television on March 21. 
The half hour show is sponsored by 
Sensor, Women's Media Resource Center 
in Santa Monica, CA. JOURNAL uses a 
magazine format to explore various 
aspects of the news from alternative 
perspectives, particularly those which 
are relevant to women. Exec. Producer 
Villegas has announced an internship 
program, open to qualified women. 
Further info can be obtained by con- 
tacting Ms. Hamilton at Sensor, PO Box 
5595, Santa Monica, CA. 90405. 

REPAIR TECHNICIAN: Not-for-profit 
access, production and training center 
seeking someone to provide basic 
equipment care services in our shop. 
Duties: repair and maintenance of film 
and television equipment, including '/i- 
inch Beta and reel-to-reel videotape 
recorders and 3 /4-inch videocassette 
recorders; 16mm and Super 8 film 
production, editing and projection 
equipment; television studio; audio 
mixing facility; automatic cassette 
editing system. Requires: two years in 
similar position or completion of a 
technical school program. Application 
deadline: Open until filled. Salary: $9,500 
to 11,000, depending upon experience. 
Contact: Gerry Pallor, Young 
Filmmakers/Video Arts, 4 Rivington 
Street, New York, N.Y. 10002. 

RESUMES ACCEPTED: The Astoria 
Motion Picture and Television Center is 
considering applicants for several staff 
positions: 

ARCHIVAL PROGRAM 

Archival Coordinator: $22,500 

Librarian/Cataloguer: $12,500 

Administrative Asst: $8,000 

Oral Historians (as needed): $200 per 

subject 

EDUCATION PROGRAM 

Internship and Lecture Coordinator: 

$20,000 

Administrative Asst: $11,000 

Workshop Instructors (as needed): 

$100 per session 

ANIMATION PROGRAM 

Saturday Animation Coordinator (P/T): 

$8,000 

Administrative Asst: $8,000 

Student Assts: $4 per hour 

Resumes should be sent to the Astoria 

Motion Pic. & TV Ctr., c/o Sam Robert, 

Exec. Vice-Pres., 34-31 35th St., Astoria, 

NY 11106. 



THE INDEPENDENT APRIL 1979 



11 



AIVF/FIVF 

99 Prince Street 
New York, NY 10012 



COURSES/CONFERENCES 

Goddard's Summer Program in the 
Community Media, June 4-Aug. 24, 1979, 
is an intensive opportunity to work with 
radio, video and people, developing 
media projects at the grassroots level. 
Using tools and techniques available to 
individuals or groups working in 
community action, education, the arts, 
and social change agencies, participants 
will develop and produce projects for and 
with local media resources. For informa- 
tion, contact Ann Mcintosh, Box CM-7, 
Goddard College, Plainfield, Vermont 
05667. 

JEAN ROUCH, internationally-renowned 
French ethnographic filmmaker, will 
teach a seminar on ANTHROPOLOGICAL 
FILM at the University Film Study 
Center's 9th Annual Summer Institute 
on the Media Arts, from June 17-July 6, 
1979, held at Hampshire College in 
Amherst, MA. Guests of the seminar will 
include: Emilie de Brigard, John 
Marshall, George Stoney, and others. 
Documentary Production Workshop, 
Screenwriting, Animation Workshop, 
and Filmmaking Workshop, etc. 
Academic Credit is available. Contact the 
SUMMER INSTITUTE, University 
Film Study Center, 18 Vassar St., Rrn. 
120, Cambridge, MA 02139. (617) 253- 
7612. 

TELECONFERENCING: "An Introduc- 
tion to the State of the Art", is an 
intensive one-day course at the Alterna- 
tive Media Center, on May 2; also, 
"VIEWDATA is Coming" a 2-day course 
at AMC, May 3-4. For further info: Ms. 
Donna D'Andrea, The Interactive 
Telecomm. Program, School of the Arts, 
NYU, 144 Bleecker St., NYC, NY 10012. 
(212) 598-3338. 



NFLCP Second Annual Convention — 
June 28-July 1, hosted by Austin (Texas) 
Community Television. Workshops, 
seminars and panel discussions. For info: 
NFLCP Convention, ACTV, Box 1076, 
Austin Texas 78767. 

The US Conference for an Alternative 
Cinema is giving North American inde- 
pendents an opportunity to join the 
international community of filmmakers 
seeking a more effective development 
and use of media for social change. The 
conference aims to share experience; 
view and discuss a variety of political 
media work; plan the sharing of 
resources; coordinate projects in pro- 
duction, distribution, fundraising and 
use of developing technologies; and to 
build mutual support and confront issues 
of racism, sexism and gay oppression. 
For more info: U.S. Conference for an 
Alternative Cinema, 192 Broadway, 
Room 708, NYC, NY 10038. 

YOUNG FILMMAKERS is offering 
Spring Workshops: "Preparing for a 
Sound Mix", " 3 A inch Video Editing", 
"Helical Video Maintenance", "Legal 
Seminars", and a "Master Class in 
Editing". Call (212) 673-9361. 

Global Village is conducting a 3rd year 
of a national series of seminar/workshops 
entitled "The Independent Producer, 
Public Television and the New Video 
Technologies". Participation is by invita- 
tion. Contact Karen Mooney if you would 
like to attend — (212) 966-7526. 



TRIMS AND GLITCHES 

Cindy Neal and Lilly Ollinger scooped 
the Chicago press last month with a 
timely report from Jane Byrne's hotel 
room on election night. No one in 
Chicago expected Ms. Byrne to WIN the 
Democratic nomination for mayor of the 
windy city. But Cindy and Lilly were 
there with their portapaks and got a 
great story on Tuesday night, which 
they played the following Thursday 
night on the WTTW show Image Union. 
Samples of Image Union shows will be 
screened at a presentation this month 
with Tom Weinberg, the show's director. 
(See Calendar for details.) Image Union 
has been using a lot of independent stuff 
every other wek in a show that has 
gained a fantastic audience for public 
television in Chicago. 

The Independent Filmmakers Advisory 
Service will provide low-budget feature 
directors with advice on getting private 
financing, preparing grant applications, 
doing necessary preproduction planning 
and working out problems with studio 
shooting. Write: Mr. Cliff Frazier, Film 
and Television Pilot Internship Program, 
Astoria Motion Picture and TV Center, 
34-31 35th St., Astoria, NY 11106. 

Arts Resources in Collaboration (ARC) 
Directors Delia Ipiotis and Jeff Bush 
have received funds from NYSCA to 
assist in the continuing of their "Video 
Services to Dancers" program. For an 
appointment to visit their studio or for 
more info, call (212) 923-3900. 



*The AIVF Classifieds is a publication of the Association of Indepen- 
dent Video and Filmmakers, Inc., 99 Prince St., NY, NY 10012, subscrip- 
tion to which is included in the price of membership. 




ndependent 



MAY 19 "7 3 




a publication of the Foundation for Independent Video and Film Inc. 



Cover: IMancy Holt, still from PINE BARRENS 



the 



I Independent; 



may 79 



THE INDEPENDENT is published 10 times yearly by 
the Foundation for Independent Video and Film, Inc., 99 
Prince St., NY, NY 10012, with support from the New 
York State Council on the Arts and the National Endow- 
ment for the Arts, a federal agency. Subscription is 
included in membership to the organization. 



Editor: Bill Jones 

Associate Editor: Rich Berkowitz 

Layout & Design: Bill Jones 

Typesetting: Josephine Coppa, Compositype Studios 



The viewpoints expressed herein do not necessarily re- 
flect the opinion of the Board of Directors— they are as 
diversified as our member and staff contributors. 

We welcome your response in the form of letters, re- 
views, articles or suggestions. As time and space are of 
the essence we can't guarantee publication. Please send 
your material to: THE INDEPENDENT, 99 Prince St., 
NY, NY 10012. If you'd like your material returned to 
you please enclose a self-addressed stamped envelope. 

NOTE: All submissions to newsletter due by 15th of 
month preceeding publication, preferrably earlier. 



Correspondence 



To The Editor 

In the Feb. /March issue of "The Independent" (p. 5) you 
reported that I received an Artists Foundation Fellowship for 
$35,000. In fact, these fellowships are $3500. 

Maybe you'd better print a correction before every 
Independent filmmaker in the U.S. moves to Massachusetts. 

Sincerely, 
Alfred Guzzetti 
Cambridge, Mass. 



To The Editor: 

In the April issue of "The Independent" Dee Dee Halleck 
writes that the Josh Hanig is having "predictable" problems 
in getting his film SONG OF THE CANARY on PBS, and 
further suggests that PBS shies away from broadcasting 
programs on public issues like occupational health and 
safety. 

The record should show that PBS has been interested in this 
program ever since we first received Josh Hanig' s proposal 
and that, in fact, it was funded by the CPB Revolving 
Documentary Fund on the strength of PBS' recommendation. 

PBS and the producers are now discussing journalistic 
problems related to one part of this film. It is not true that 
PBS is resisting the scheduling of SONG OF THE CANARY, 
as Ms. Halleck implies. Our only aim is that when SONG OF 
THE CANARY goes on the air, it goes on as an accurate and 
journalistically sound documentary. 

Sincerely, 

Karen Thomas 
Assistant Director 
Program Administration 
Public Broadcasting Service 



CONTENTS 

MEDIA AWARENESS UPDATE By John Rice 5 

PUBLIC TV AND INDIES By Dee Dee Halleck 6 

SE HABLA ESPANOL By Rich Berkowitz 7 

FESTIVALS 8 

PROFILE 9 

BUSINESS By Mitchell W. Block 10 

INDEPENDENTS FILE SUIT AGAINST NETWORKS By Joel Levich 11 
FILM CLINIC By Sol Rubin 

CINEPROBE: An Evening with Nancy Holt Review by BUI Jones 12 

REGIONAL REPORT By Linda Blackaby 14 

CETA UPDATE By Frances M. Piatt 15 

AIVF CLASSIFIEDS 17 



MEDIA AWARENESS UPDATE 
By John Rice 

In the past, the term "independent producer" has been 
misunderstood and misrepresented widely. It was AIVF 
that first began to narrow that broad term "independent" 
to "those persons who are not regularly employed by 
any corporation, network, institution or agency which 
determines either the form or content of the materials he 
or she produces." To me, personal motivations for 
creating films/tapes are what often characterize bold and 
honest programming. However, institutional 
motivations for making independent "product" are 
based on safer programming reasoning. 

Large independent organizations like the Children's 
Television Workshop are often lumped with smaller 
independent producers when the percentage of funds or 
air-time is revealed by Public Television. Unlike 
individual independents, the Children's Television Work- 
shop's huge overhead relies on several million dollars of 
toy sales along with a large chunk of PTV money in 
order to survive. This large bureaucratic overhead is 
what leads ultimately to safe liaisons with PTV entities. 

Indeed, the last WNET programming meeting was held 
at the Children's Television Workshop's plush 
conference room, with both institutions tying even 
further bonds. Up to now, smaller independents have 
had no access to the decision-making process. 

Recently, however, there have been breakthroughs in the 
government's recognition of these distinctions. From the 
Public Telecommunications Financing Act of 1978's 
conference report: "The conferees also agree that a "sub- 
stantial" amount of funds allocated for programming by 
CPB should be reserved for independent producers. In 
agreeing to the term "substantial amount" for indepen- 
dent producers, it is the conferees' intention to recognize 
the important contribution independents can make in 
innovative and creative new programming. By "indepen- 
dent producer" the conferees have in mind producers not 
affiliated with any public telecommunications entity and 
especially the smaller independent organizations and 
individuals who, while talented, may not yet have 
received national recognition. The talents of these 
producers have not been adequately utilized in the 
past. . the conferees fully expect the Corporation to 
take the necessary steps to increase the level of partici- 
pation previously available to these smaller independent 
producers."* 

Obviously, Congress is impressed by the potential that 
ferments within our ranks. As mandated by the 
"sunshine aspects" of the law, Public Television has 
already opened up its programming and board meetings. 
Now it is time to open up the funding coffers so they can 
satisfy this mandate for creative and innovative new 
programming. The AIVF recognizes this mandate and is 
acting upon it by constantly monitoring and drafting 
proposals to help implement the needs of independents. 

♦Conference Report to accompany HR 12605, page 30 



JOIN US! The Media Awareness Project is an on-going 
committee within AIVF working on issues of access to 
public telecommunications. We make sure the voice of 
the independent producer is heard at WNET, PBS, 
Congress, the Carnegie Commission, the FCC, etc. Our 
work is vital to every member of AIVF — and everyone 
who wants an audience for their work, fair payment, 
access to production funds and more public affairs 
programming. Come give us a hand: 



NEXT PTV COMMITTEE MEETINGS: 
April 19, 5:50p AIVF (Thurs.) 
May 10, 5:30p AIVF (Thurs.) 
May 21, 5:30p AIVF (Mon.) 
May 31, 5:30p AIVF (Thurs.) 



AIVF BOARD MEETS 

On April 2 the newly elected AIVF board members held 
their first meeting. Attending were Stewert Bird, Matt 
Clarke, Maxi Cohen, Jane Morrison, Manny Kirchheimer, 
Kitty Morgan, Eli Noyes, Pablo Figueroa, Ted Timrek 
(alt.), Dee Dee Halleck, and Alan Jacobs. 

After discussing the Board Officers duties, nominations 
were made and the vote taken with the following results: 
President — Jane Morrison; Chairperson — Kathy Kline; 
Vice President — Monica Freeman; Treasurer — Matt 
Clarke; Recording Secretary — Eli Noyes. 

Next the duties of the Executive Committee were dis- 
cussed. Basically they act as the Personal Committee and 
as the Director's advisor in matters of the Board which 
become critical between meetings of the Board. In this 
case they act as the Board. Nominations were made. The 
Executive Committee is as follows: Dee Dee Halleck, 
Pablo Figueroa, Matt Clarke and FIVF Director Alan 
Jacobs. 



ANNOUNCEMENT: AIVF holds board meetings 
the first Monday of each month at 7:30. Members 
and non-members alike are invited to attend. Next 
Board meeting: May 7. All meetings are held at the 
AIVF loft, 99 Prince St. (2nd Floor) in Soho. 



PUBLIC TV AND INDIES: 
A VERY SOUND MIX 

(The following report is coverage of the April 17 AIVF 
presentation "Independents Producing for Television. ") 

Image Union, Frontier, and Territory are regularly 
scheduled programs of independent work on public tele- 
vision. If you haven't heard of them, it's because you 
don't live in Chicago, Buffalo or Houston. These are 
LOCAL shows, using local independent talent, and they 
are produced and put together by (heretofore) indepen- 
dent producers. On Tuesday, April 17, the producers of 
these shows came to AIVF to show pieces of their 
programs, and to talk about what happens when oil and 
water meet. 

James Blue initiated Territory, which has got to be the 
longest continuosly running program of independent 
material on public television. It is going into its fifth 
year with Ed Hugetz as current producer. It started 
with an NEA one-year residency for James Blue at the 
local Houston station, KUHT. Rather than make a few 
of his own productions, James chose to spend that time 
culling independent work from the area and finding a 
way to put the stuff together in a regular weekly show. 
At first there was no money to pay contributors; but 
people were so desperate for exposure that they gladly 
submitted work. 

A big part of the picture was SWAMP — South Western 
Alternate Media Project, which was another of James' 
activities. They were able to provide production facilities 
in both super 8 and video to Territory producers. This 
kind of production center/broadcast combination seems 
to be the optimum condition for making independents 
and PTV mix. Producers and even community groups 
had immediate access to both equipment and air time; a 
flurry of activity resulted that still flourishes. 

James showed two segments, both by non-pro fessioanls. 
One was produced by a group of ACLU lawyers who 
wanted to expose the conditions of the local women's 
jail. The second, by paraplegics, was about the poor 
transportation access in the city. Both of these shows 
had specific pragmatic results: jail conditions improved, 
and more buses were added with special devices for 
wheelchairs. This kind of community nudging was a big 
component of Territory. Because the show was totally 
independent of the station financially (it was run mostly 
on outside grants to SWAMP), it was free to take on the 
status quo and provide a real forum for change. 

It hasn't been all community causes, however. A lot of 
Territory was devoted to just premiering independents' 
work — from that of fledgling Rice University students 
to the more accomplished work of independents like 
Danny Lyon, Eagle Pennell and Scott Thomas. The 
show started out with a logo and a host. The host was 
soon dropped as unnecessary, and later even the logo 
was simplified to a plain white title. "The work has its 
own integrity." says James, "That other stuff just 
detracted." 

Tom Weinberg's WTTW show, Image Union, also has an 
indie-production center liaison. The Chicago Editing 
Center serves as a natural base for all but quad post- 



production work. Tom has produced 13 shows — at first 
every other week — but now every week. The show 
includes all kinds of formats — super 8, b & w video, 3 A " 
cassette and 16mm. The material is usually, but not 
always, draped loosely around a theme — making music 
at home, animation, food, snow (a big subject this year.) 
Tom had a lot of background work with the station, 
having produced several shows for them. He says the 
station is committed to programming, and that's why 
they have supported Image Union: they see it as good 
programming. They're not doing it to fulfill some 
community service mandate. 

The ratings — Nielsen 3's and 4's, which is a lot higher 
than PTV's average of 1 or 1.5. In fact, the show was 
third in the station's list one week — just behind 
National Geographic. The audience is also loyal, vocal 
and enthusiastic, as the many letters to the ' station 
attest. One week they did a radio hookup right after the 
show, and the switchboard lit up with Image Union 
watchers wanting to talk about what they saw. Tom 
says that a lot more can and should be done with PTV/ 
NPR combinations. 

The show begins with a witty animation/pixilation 
sequence/logo by Jane Aaron, but then all extrinsic stuff 
disappears and the work is OUT THERE — on its own: 
no MC, no intros. Tom feels strongly that hosts and 
extraneous information only degrade independent 
material. He thinks that if it's programmed for flow, and 
with the audience in mind, it'll work. "I'm making 
television." he says. 

He occasionally uses only part of a work to stress the 
theme of a particular show, or to maintain program flow. 
He says he always does it with the filmmaker's advice 
and consent. He stresses the connection with the 
Editing Center, and sees that base as the best way for 
independents to form liaisons with stations. The outside 
production center guarantees continuity of production, 
and also serves as a basis for cohesion and strength in 
the local independent community. "We're all learning," 
he says. "The station people are getting used to having 
us around, and the independents are learning the 
intricacies of station politics." 

Lynn Corcoran is starting Frontier in Buffalo. Once again 
there is that production center connection — this time it's 
Media Studies. They are aiming at a 13-week show of 
Buffalo area independents. The viewing area of the sta- 
tion includes Toronto, and so Canadians are eligible for in- 
clusion in the show. This geographical coincidence has 
brought an unexpected windfall — the Canadian Council 
has offered to help pay for Canadian material used. Lynn 
has shown AIVF some excerpts from projected programs, 
and the show promises to be a fascinating experiment in 
bi-national communication. 

This presentation was a particularly timely one for AIVF. 
We are attempting to gather information on indepen- 
dents' experiences with public television, in order to put 
together some proposals for CPB. These are not proposals 
for specific series, but for over-all structures that can pro- 
vide the system as a wholesome sort of modus operandi 
for working with us. One way to go is obviously this sort 
of independently produced series. These three examples 



seem to work. They are produced BY independents with 
an inherent concern for the integrity of the work involved. 
Other stations would do well to look at them closely; they 
have gained the respect of the independent community, 
and Houston and Chicago have proved that a good-sized 
audience can respect them too. 

One thing that unifies all three shows is their time slot — 
just before Saturday Night Live, which probably says 
something about who's watching. The other thing that 
unifies the three efforts is that they are LOCAL: made by 
community members for community members. One of 
Tom's sample programs pointed out just how local it was. 
It consisted of shots of chairs in the show, in a variety of 
styles and positions. It read to us New Yorkers as an in- 
teresting piece of conceptual art. Tom wondered why we 
didn't laugh, then he realized that we didn't get it. You 
see, in Chicago, people shovel out their parking space, 
then put a chair there when they go out, so no one can take 
undue advantage of their hard-earned territory. In 
Chicago this tape had all kinds of messages of property- 
stakeout that were completely lost at 99 Prince Street. 
That's why it's a Chicago show. 

James Blue echoed this local theme. "My message to film- 
makers? STAY HOME. Start cooking with your local sta- 
tion. That's where your public is. It's YOUR 
community." 

—Dee Dee Halleck 



SE HABLA ESPANOL: A MESSAGE 
FROM THE PUBLIC 

Leaders of the nation's largest Hispanic organizations 
have joined together in an attempt to make public televi- 
sion stations aware of their failure to recognize Hispanics 
as part of their potential audience. 

In a letter to the general managers of 45 public television 
stations in areas heavily populated by Hispanics, a coali- 
tion of 63 Chicano, Puerto Rican and Cuban-American 
national organizations stated: "Our community wants to 
do more than be served ... we want to participate, but 
public television has looked the other way." 

The letter also stated that "the information through the 
recently published report by the Task Force on Minorities 
in Public Broadcasting titled "A Formula For Change" 
provides solid data to back up the rampant descrimina- 
tion which exists against minorities in public television." 

The coalition praised the television program fund of the 
Emergency School Aid Act (ESAA) for making possible 
the production of some quality children's and family 
series for Hispanics. The group, however, objected to the 
improper scheduling that is practiced in the too few in- 
stances when these programs (which are available free) are 
acquired for airing. 

Representing the coalition is the National Council of La 
Raza, 1725 Eye Street NW, Suite 210, Washington, DC 
20006. (202) 659-1251. 

—Rich Berkowitz 



MANNHEIM SELECTION TO 
TAKE PLACE IN NEW YORK 

Selection of U.S. entries to the Mannheim International 
Filmweek will be held in New York under the auspices of 
FIVF beginning in late June. The festival, in its 28th 
year, awards well over $10,000 in prizes. It takes place 
October 8-13, 1979. 

After a pre-selection process by a committee approved 
by the FIVF Board, the final selection will be made by a 
festival-appointed panel which includes Marc N. Weiss, 
Chairperson of the FIVF Festivals Committee, Fee 
Vaillant, the Mannheim Film Festival Director, and Mira 
Liehm, writer and festival organizer. 

Last year, 13 films were selected for competition and 
information programs. WITH BABIES AND 
BANNERS won a cash prize. As is customary with 
FIVF-hosted selections, the cost of film shipment is 
borne by the festival. 

Filmmakers interested in submitting their films for 
selection should follow these guidelines carefully: 

1) Eligible films: 16mm and 35mm, more than 35 min- 
utes long. First features, documentaries, short fiction 
Completed since January 1978 (do not resubmit films 
already submitted last year) 

2) Films must be clearly marked on the outside of the 
shipping case with a) name of film, b) name and return 
address of filmmaker, c) insurance value 

3) Films must arrive by June 25. Any film arriving after 
that date cannot be screened. 



4) Mail films to: 



Mannheim Selection 
FIVF Festivals Committee 
99 Prince St. 2nd Fl. 
New York, N.Y. 10012 



5) Include the following with the print (and make sure 
the name of the film is on each item): 

a) A check or money order for return postage and 
service fee, made out to FIVF FESTIVALS 
COMMITTEE. Under 60 min.: $11. Over 60 
min.: $14. Members of AIVF, WAFL and BF/VF 
may deduct $3 from these amounts. 

Films not accompanied by a fee will not be 
screened and will be returned to filmmakers 
collect. 

b) A synopsis of the film 

c) Major credits, completion date, running time 
(in minutes) and length (in feet). 

d) Any reviews or publicity materials you think 
might be useful. 

6) Films will be returned toward the end of July. You 
will be notified about the selections by mail. 

7) The shipping of selected films from New York to 
Mannheim and back will take place in early Septem- 
ber, at the Festival's expense. The FIVF will require 
an additional service and handling fee at this time. 



FLORENCE FESTIVAL OF AMERICAN 
INDEPENDENTS ANNOUNCES FILMS 

The First Annual Review of American Independent 
Cinema (l a Rassegna del Cinema Independente U.S.A.) 
has announced the films it is inviting to be shown in 
Florence this year (May 29 to June 3). 

The Festival is co-sponsored by the City of Florence and 
the National Association of Film Critics in Italy. 
Selections were made under the auspices of FIVF. 



The invited films (all fiction) are: 
PLEASANTVILLE by Vicki Polon and Ken Locker 

THE KIRLIAN WITNESS by Jonathan Sarno 

THE ANIMAL by Walter Ungerer 

PROPERTY by Penny Allen 

OUTRAGEOUS by Richard Benner 

HOT TOMORROWS by Martin Brest 

THE MAFU CAGE by Karen Arthur 

LULU by Ronald Chase 

BUSHMAN by David Schickele 

TRACKS by Henry Jaglom 

THE GARDENER'S SON by Richard Pearce 

NORTHERN LIGHTS by John Hanson and 
Rob Nilsson 

FEEDBACK by Bill Doukas 

ALAMBRISTA by Robert Young 

STONY ISLAND by Andrew Davis 

NIGHT FLOWERS by Luis Sanandres 

OVER-UNDER SIDEWAYS-DOWN by Steve Wax 

NOT A PRETTY PICTURE by Martha Coolidge 

CHAMELEON by Jon Jost 

THE SCENIC ROUTE by Mark Rappaport 

SHOWBOAT 1988: THE REMAKE 
by Richard Schmidt 

MARTIN by George Romero 

ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13 by John Carpenter 

ERASERHEAD by David Lynch 

NOMADIC LIVES by Mark Obenhaus 

ROCKERS by Theodoros Bafaloukos 

A GUEST STATUS by Yossi Segal 

THE WHIDJIT MAKER by Polly Lewis Krieger 

LAST RITES by Joan Vail Thome 

EXIT 10 by Steve Gyllenhaal 

8 




Penny Al len, PROPERTY 




MarthaCoolidg&NOT A PRETTY PICTURE 




MarkRappaport.THE SCENIC ROUTE 



FESTIVALS 



INTERCOM: The Industrial/Informational Film and 
Video Competition (a division of the Chicago Intl. Film 
Festival) announced June 4 as deadline for submissions. 
For details and entry forms write: Michael Kutza, Dir., 
Chicago Intl. Film Fest., 415 N. Dearborn, Chicago, 111. 
60610. 

Upcoming festivals being held . . . The 21st ANNUAL 
AMERICAN FILM FESTIVAL, sponsored by the 
Educational Film Library Association, will be held May 
28-June 2 in NYC. Finalists were entered in 42 
categories covering diverse areas of Art, Education, 
Social Concerns, and feature-length documentaries. 
Special events include the premiere screening of 
"Documentary", an international history of the 
documentary as social commentary and art form; "Film 
as Art", a specially selected program of experimental/ 
avant-garde films; luncheon with director William 
Friedkin as featured speaker; and more. For registration 
forms contact; Amer. Film Festival, (212) 246-4533 . . . 
1979 ASIAN AMERICAN FILM FESTIVAL, pre- 
sented by the Asian American Film Institute in associa- 
tion with the School for Cinema Studies of NYU, will be 
held at the Schimmel Auditorium of NYU on May 11, 
18, 25 and June 1. For info, contact: Peter Chow, AAFI, 
32 East Broadway, NYC, 10002. (212) 925-8685 ... The 
TENTH ANNUAL SINKING CREEK FILM CELE- 
BRATION will be held May 31-June 3 at Vanderbilt 
Univ., Nashville. (615) 638-6524 ... The TENTH 
BALTIMORE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL, 
dedicated to independent filmmaking, will be held May 
9-22. Contact: BIFF, PO Box 903, Bait., Md. 21201. 
(301) 685-4170. 



THE BLACK FILMMAKERS 
DISTRIBUTION COOPERATIVE 

The Black Filmmakers Distribution Cooperative was 
created with the assistance of a grant from the National 
Endowment for the Arts. The purpose of the Co-op is to 
enhance self-distribution efforts of Black independent 
filmmakers. Its primary activity will be to promote 
independent films for, by and about Black people 
through the publication and distribution of a catalog. 
This catalog will be sent to educational institutions, 
community organizations and other traditional as well as 
non-traditional film users. Through collective advertising 
and distribution, the Co-op will provide independent 
filmmakers with the marketing clout available from 
commercial distributors while letting him/her retain the 
legal autonomy and financial equity of self-distribution. 

The first catalog will be released in the Fall, 1979. In- 
clusion in this catalog will be closed June 1, 1979. 
Interested filmmakers should address inquiries for 
further information before May 1, 1979 to: Black Film- 
makers Distribution Co-op; P.O. Box 315; Franklin 
Lakes, N.J. 07417. 



PROFILE 

Peter Wood and Richard Ward of North State Public 
Video in Chapel Hill, N.C. have made a 12 minute color 
videotape on "The Afro- American Tradition in the 
Decorative Arts." It deals with pottery, basketry, metal- 
working, woodcarving and quilting. The tape was 
commissioned by the St. Louis Art Museum and will be 
shown continuously there during May as an introduction 
to a traveling exhibition on Afro-American arts. Dr. 
Wood teaches history at Duke University and both are 
members of AIVF. 



ANDREW SUGARMAN NOMINATED FOR 
ACADEMY AWARD. 

Contratulations to Andrew Sugarman for his Acadamy 
Award nomination for his film (he produced and directed) 
"Mandy's Grandmother". The film, nominated in the 
"Best Short Film, Live Action" catagory based on the book 
"Mandy's Grandmother" stars Maureen O'SuUivan, 
Kathlyn Walker and Amy Leviten. 



INDEPENDENT SCREENINGS 

ROBERT KRAMER'S film Ice will be screened at the Col- 
lective for Living Cinema on June 2., at 8 pm. Call (212) 
925-2111 for info. . .Women, Artists Filmmakers 
presents a video show curated by DORIS CHASE at 
Glocal Village on May 25 at 7:30 . . . FILMWORKS 78-79, 
a series of 32 films by 26 independent artists will be 
presented May 1-3 at the Kitchen. Call Joe Hannan for in- 
fo (212) 925-3615. . WOMEN'S FILMFEST, a benefit 
screening and party for the ERA presents WITH 
BABIES AND BANNERS (7:30) and SALT OF THE 
EARTH (9:00). Films, refreshments and entertainment in- 
cluded in ticket price: $5.00 Regular, $10.00 Supporting, 
$3.00 Special (Seniors, Unemployed): all proceeds to to 
Natl. Women's Political Caucus ERA Fund. Contact 
Women's Resources (212) 724-6670 or purchase at Media 
Works, 99 Prince St., (212) 966-0641. (ask for Fran). . . 



AND ON THE TUBE 

JANE WARRENBRAND'S "Cat... A Woman Who 
Fought Back " will be aired nationally on PBS, Thursday, 
May 24, at 10:30. WNET in NYC will air the film Wed. 
May 16 at 8:30. . CAROLINE and FRANK MOURIS's 
"La La, Making It In L.A.," a film about show- biz 
hopefuls in Hollywood will be aired on PBS Tuesday, May 
8 at 10:00 EDT; WNET in NYC will air the film May 8 at 
10 pm. 



BUSINESS By Mitchell W. Block 

Borrowing for Equipment and Other Needs — 
Installment Loans 

Banks make most of their profits from loaning money to 
businesses. These loans tend to be made in the following 
areas: financing, inventory & equipment. Once your 
business has grown to the point where it is a going 
concern, business loans become a matter-of-fact way of 
expanding your operation. A relationship with your 
bank's loan officer is very important. S/he is the person 
who will approve your loan, and is the person at the 
bank who becomes the "expert" on your business. 

1. Credit Line Loans: These loans provide you with cash 
to pay bills for inventory. They sometimes are secured 
by equipment or inventory, but really are a "business" 
variation of a "personal loan" or "signature loan". These 
notes are usually issued in multiples of 30 days, for a 
term of 18 months or less. The interest is calculated at 
the prime lending rate plus a few points. The loan is 
usually payable in full at the end of the term. (See 
"Personal Loans" in the April, 1979 Independent for 
more information.) 

2. Loans for Buying Equipment: This area of borrowing 
is very important for independents. Renting a 
$12,000.00 flatbed for 10 months at $600.00 (or more) a 
month on a grant film, and then giving up the machine 
at the end of the period, must bother a lot of filmmakers. 
The problem is that few independents have the $8,000 to 
$30,000 necessary to buy/equip an editing room. One 
approach to buying expensive equipment that you will 
be using in your work is an installment loan. This loan is 
much like a mortgage, except that it's for a shorter 
period of time, generally between 1 and 5 years. The 
borrower makes monthly payments to the bank (sending 
in a coupon sometimes) and at the end of the term and 
the 12 to 60 payments owes the bank nothing. Of course 
if you buy equipment (rather than rent it from someone 
else) you are also responsible for its maintenance, 
insurance and storage. An Arri SR will fit in a closet but 
a KEM or MOVIOLA will fill a New York living room. 

Assuming you need $14,000 to set up an editing room or 
buy that camera, you pledge the equipment as partial 
collateral against the loan and you have $4,000.00 cash, 
you would be making the following payments (per 
month) at these various interest rates: 



FOUR YEAR PAYBACK 

(48 Monthly Payments) 
Loan Amount/ 
Interest 
$10,000 
Total Paid Back 



Cost of Loan 



10% 

$ 253.60 

$12,172.80 

$ 2,172.80 



12% 

$ 263.30 

$12,638.40 

$ 2,638.40 



14% 
$ 273.20 
$13,113,60 
$ 3,113.60 



(24 Monthly Payments) 



Loan Amount/ 
Interest 

$10,000 

Total Paid Back 

Cost of Loan 

10 



12% 14% 

$ 470.70 $ 480.10 
$11,296.80 $11,522.40 
$ 1,296.80 $ 1,522.40 



The INSTALLMENT LOAN TABLE below is a way for 
you to determine your costs of borrowing money in this 
way. The "Interest" rates are shown at the left and 
range from 10% to 15%; the "TIME" is shown in 
MONTHS (which also represent the number of 
payments and the amount per payment). All of the 
amounts are for $1,000.00. Thus, if you want to borrow 
$5,000.00 for 36 Months, your monthly payment at a 
13% interest level would be $33.69 per $1,000.00 or 
$168.45 a month. 

INSTALLMENT LOAN TABLE: 

COST FOR BORROWING $1,000.00 PER PERIOD 

Interest Time (In Months) 

Interest 12 24 36 48 60 120 



10% 


87.91 


46.14 


32.26 


25.36 


21.25 


13.21 


10.5% 


88.14 


46.37 


32.50 


25.60 


21.49 


13.49 


11% 


88.38 


46.60 


32.73 


25.84 


21.74 


13.77 


11.5 


88.61 


46.84 


32.97 


26.08 


22.00 


14.05 


12% 


88.84 


47.07 


33.21 


26.33 


22.25 


14.34 


13% 


89.31 


47.54 


33.69 


26.82 


22.74 


14.93 


14% 


89.78 


48.01 


34.17 


27.32 


23.26 


15.52 


15% 


90.25 


48.48 


34.66 


27.83 


23.79 


16.13 


16% 


90.73 


48.96 


35.16 


28.34 


24.31 


16.75 


© MWB 1979 













It should be evident that every interest increase costs 
you more over the term of the note. Also, borrowing 
money for a shorter time increases your monthly 
payment, but cuts the total amount of interest your loan 
costs. Thus, at 14% a 24-month loan for that equipment 
would make your monthly rental (PLUS insurance and 
maintenance) approach the cost of paying someone else 
for the same equipment ($600.00). The down side of 
owning equipment (and owing the bank) is that you 
must make payments EVERY month even if the 
equipment is not generating any income for you. While 
owning the equipment gives you some additional cash 
savings in terms of interest, depreciation and investment 
tax credits (when you file your taxes), it does increase 
your monthly cash overhead. 

Remember that the bank will not be very interested in 
paying for 100% of the equipment you buy, and that 
insurance rates for equipment in Los Angeles and New 
York approach 8% of the insured value. So you will need 
some money to put down and pay premiums — and the 
more you have at the start the less you have to borrow 
on, since it is simpler to rent than a camera, for example. 
Of course this kind of installment purchase is much like 
a chattel mortgage or auto or other kind of mortgage. 
The major differences are that the term of the loan is a 
far shorter period than the term of a home loan, and that 
generally (unlike a chattel mortgage) the bank does not 
really secure the property in terms of title registration, 
etc. Owning equipment that you use for your own films 
(or in your work) makes sense ONLY AS LONG AS 
YOU CAN GET THE ACTUAL CASH RENT ON A 
REGULAR BASIS — Owning equipment does not 
guarantee that anyone will hire you to shoot/edit/record 
sound/gaff/grip etc. 

© MWB 1979 



UPDATE: INDEPENDENTS FILE SUIT 
AGAINST ABC, NBC AND CBS 
By Joel Levitch 

Ed. Note: The following article was written by Joel A. 
Levitch, spokesman for a group of 26 independent pro- 
ducers who recently filed an antitrust suit against the 
commercial Networks. The group is receiving legal assis- 
tance from the National Emergency Civil Liberties 
Foundation. 

On February 14, ABC, NBC, and CBS responded 
formally to the antitrust charges which were filed 
against them last September. This suit, alleging 
restraint of trade and monopolization of news and public 
affairs programming on U.S. television, is essentially an 
attempt to break the pernicious and long-standing 
Network "policy" of refusing to deal with independent 
producers of news and public affairs programming. A 
concerted "refusal to deal", if proven, is an automatic, or 
per se, violation of the antitrust laws. 

As expected, the Networks moved to dismiss the case on 
a number of grounds, some quite technical in nature. In 
this first round, they were not required to affirm or deny 
the policy, merely to show that even if all our allegations 
about it were true, our case would still fail on the merits. 
For instance, they argued, among other things: that any 
company has the right to make and distribute its own 
product; that we have not shown that the parallel 
behavior of all three Networks in this regard is a result 
of conspiratorial behavior; that we have not shown that 
the Networks "combine" with their affiliations to deny a 
market to independent producers; and that since there 
are three Networks, no one of them has a large enough 
share of the market to qualify as a monopolist. 

By far the most extensive arguments presented by the 
Networks were designed to prove that, above all else, it 
would be a violation of their First Amendment privilege 
for the Government (i.e. the Court) to force access of any 
kind by an outside group — even when antitrust viola- 
tions are alleged. 

We believe at this point that our counter-arguments, 
which will be presented soon by our attorney, Eric 
Lieberman, will prevail, and therefore that the suit will 
not be dismissed. This will be determined at a hearing 
some time in late May or early June. A victory at this 
stage means the case would proceed to trial, but not for 
at least a year and quite possibly longer. 

Ultimately, if antitrust violations are proven, I believe 
all of commercial broadcasting would eventually be 
opened to the independent producer seeking a market for 
news/public affairs type programming. At the national 
level, the Court would have wide latitude to provide a 
remedy for proven violations, up to and including an 
outright ban on Network internal production of any 
news/public affairs documentary or magazine program. 
At the local level, a ruling in our favor could easily open 
the door for similar suits against commercial stations 
which refuse to deal with independents. 



To all those who believe as I do that commercial 
broadcasters do not hold the patent on the ability to 
analyze and interpret news and public affairs in this 
country — stay tuned! 



$200 OR 50* 



FILM CLINIC by Sol Rubin 

This month's subject is how to photograph a projected 
image on a screen, to be inserted in your film, without 
labs whose prices are as impressively special as their 
effects. First, disregard the science fiction of getting 
blanks and blotches due to the non-synch of camera and 
projector. To make sure that you are not the first one to 
fail, shoot a 5-second test. Our lowest-prices raw stock 
originates from Rafik, an AIVF friend, always available 
at 473-5851. The second most important thing is not to 
project on regular screen cloths or the assortment of 
glass marketed for that purpose. Tape a multiple layer of 
ordinary 8 x 11V& white writing paper to a record jacket 
or box. This offers the sharpest, non-reflecting images. 
Its small area will force you to stay close to the projec- 
tor's light source, thus resolving the third problem: 
underexposure. 

With a one-inch lens on your 16mm projector and a 750 
watt lamp, you can use the versatile zoom lens on the 
camera. A 2-inch projection lens may need a fl.4 glass on 
the camera, depending upon the image brightness of the 
actual scene, etc. Load the projector with a discarded 
original scene or a work print. Frame, focus and orient 
the image as needed. I keep my Bolex reflex on the right 
side since the controls are there, but it can be situated in 
the back and above the projector, depending upon the 
desired angle. In addition to focusing, use the old- 
fashioned, dependable tape measure, since depth-of-field 
is critical. After gaining the required experience you may 
start working with double-exposure, like titles over live 
background, and endless special effects in-the-camera. I 
saw, before writing this article, the results of a credit 
line over a night carnival scene which I had double- 
exposed with the above method three days ago. Find a 
dark area in the scene and shoot the title right into it. A 
simple storyboard drawing will guide you; no art back- 
ground is required. A scroll or zoom title is occasionally 
needed for some backgrounds to assure full screen 
reading time. White letters, sold in art stores, are placed 
over a smooth, black cloth; it's that simple, at least for 
me. Keep a record of everything you are doing, especially 
the distances between the optics and images, so that you 
will either duplicate or slightly alter the procedure in the 
next session — which may be a year later, a period of 
forgetfulness . . . 

P.S. OF THE MONTH 
A missing link in the Einstein birthday celeb: he acted in 
the amateur films produced. Perhaps if the nuclear 
scientists would do just that, we might be blessed with a 
fallout of creativity instead of radioactivity. 



11 




CINEPROBE 



Nancy Holt, SUN TUNNELS 1978 (film) 
An Evening with Nancy Holt, The Museum of Modern Art. Review By Bill Jones 



Nancy Holt is a sculptor, filmmaker and video artist. On 
April 9 Holt's films SWAMP 1971, PINE BARRENS 
1975, and SUN TUNNELS 1979 as well as her video tape 
UNDERSCAN 1974 were shown by the Museum of 
Modern Art in their Cineprobe program. It was the first 
time such a combination of film and video had been shown 
in the Cineprobe series. 

Holt is best known as a sculptor working in the milieu of 
the contemporary artist. To make an investigation of 
Holt's work in film and video it is necessary to speak of 
Holt's sculpture since, for Holt, the mediums tend to 
merge one into the other. Such a discussion is even more 
pertinent as her most recent film Sun Tunnels is in part a 
record of the building of her major sculptural work of the 
same title. 

The sculpture itself is made up of four 18 foot lengths of 
7 Vt " thick concrete pipe, in diameter on the surface of the 
Utah desert. The four "tunnels" are placed two in line so 
that the four form an X if seen from above. 

From the inside or lip of each tunnel one can sight through 
to its opposite tunnel and on to the horizon, visually fram- 

12 



ing a portion of the desert, low lying mountains, and sky, 
a view to vast to comprehend without such a focal point as 
the work provides. 

Regarding this fundamental characteristic of the work 
one might attach historical references and link the work to 
traditional forms of landscape not only in painting but in 
the purely American landscape photography of the late 
19th and early 20th centuries. Yet, unlike any previous 
works, Holt's art offers a landscape image without any at- 
tendant document, but for the memory of experience. 

The viewer of Holt's landscape must also experience the 
place of that landscape. That which influences Holt's 
perceptions now influences the viewer's. Thus the work 
not only frames a landscape but exposes the process of the 
forming of that image. The participant/viewer becomes 
aware of his or her place in the physical environment and 
the process of making the image. As Holt says, "The work 

becomes a human focal point, and in that respect brings 
the vast landscape back to human proportion and makes 
the viewer the center of things." 1 



Further defining her own position in the work and reveal- 
ing a state of perception resultant from the particular 
sense of self awareness it embodies, Holt has astro- 
nomically aligned the two sets of tunnels so that respec- 
tively, at the summer and winter solstices, at sunrise and 
sunset, the sun itself can be sighted through the tunnels. 
Adding another dimension to this universal overview, 
holes drilled in the tunnel surfaces (in formations of 
selected Constellations) cast light patterns on the insides 
of the tunnels. The inclusion of these astrological 
references not only reveal Holt's own sense of place in the 
Universe (or the viewer's guided sense) but as well to 
define a consciousness that would further use €uch infor- 
mation in an investigation of light and shadow at once 
visually engaging and at the same time revealing of the 
transitory nature of the experience. 

The entirety of the visual and procedural experience is 
drawn from and deals with a knowledge derived from an 
investigation of the photographic and film mediums. With 
the camera-like framing devices, the "light drawings", (a 
concept central to the invention of photography) and the 
filmic elements of movement and time provided by the 
passing of the Sun, the sculpture evokes basic, primeval 
concepts of time and place from our position in the camera 
conscious present. 

The film Sun Tunnels ever so carefully describes the mak- 
ing of the sculpture, from the beginning fabrication of the 
tunnels in 1974 to the works completion in 1976. Then in 
the final sequences of the film we are privey to a sighting 
through the tunnels with the camera as the sun sets in its 
solstice, and then the shifting light patterns made by the 
"star holes" speeded up by the time lapse photography of- 
fer an experience available only through a viewing of the 
film. It is in fact a filmic overview of the filmic qualities of 
the sculpture. 

Swamp, 1971, Made with Robert Smithson is a 6 minute 
color film based on the simple premise that Holt hand 
carry the camera through a stretch of tall swamp grass 
while Smithson directs her from behind. But the film ap- 
pears as one constant image of the waving, flashing, slap- 




Nancy Holt UNDERSCAN 



ping motion of the yellow reeds. Never is one visually 
aware of the movement of camera and cameraperson that 
is described by the soundtrack. Furthermore it is im- 
mediately apparent that the directions heard in the sound- 
track in no way match the camera movements. The film is 
not a record of an event but a filmic recreation of an event. 
The seperate quality of the soundtrack, the presense of 
the premise as concept and the illusionary quality of the 
cinematic devices used in the recreation serve all at once 
to frame the overpowering visual image. 

In Pine Barrens 1975, a 32 minute color film, (by far 
Holt's most ambitious) the basic procedure for framing is 
extended to evoke as complete and multilayered a land- 
scape as is possible within the medium of film. To do so 
Holt includes a much more varied and extensive set of pre- 
scribed camera manipulations and in the soundtrack, adds 
the myths and legends, the oral history of the region as told 
by the strange inhabitants who call themselves Pineys. 

Each sequence is based on a different camera manipula- 
tion. We see tracking shots of the blurred treeforms from 
an automobile and in another sequence tracking, close in 
to the tree trunks at a crawl. The camera is walked 
through the forest hand held in varying directions, 
panned 360 degrees and in one sequence, held still fram- 
ing individual pines, each from two slightly different 
angles appearing to animate the single trees. Each 
sequence is intended to stand alone and be no more impor- 
tant than any of the others. The total effect is to be 
cumulative rather than narrative, yet the cinematic craft- 
ing such as the carefully built soundtrack adds a dimen- 
sion to the work that links the individual sequences 
together. To carry the audience through the piece, Holt 
enhances this narrative effect by the addition of lead-in 
music and a closing sequence that includes her foot prints, 
and shadow. The individual stories of the Pineys, how- 
ever, seem to fit neatly inside each filmic sequence and 
while having a narrative structure of their own tend to 
enhance the seperate, individual nature of each camera 
manipulation. Unlike most films involving a premise of 
predetermined camera manipulations, in Pine Barrens the 
structure remains a framing device never turning back on 
itself. The viewer is never aware of the camera person as a 
presence but rather the filming as a process. Only the film 
as a whole and the landscape it evokes embody such a 
state of primary existance. 

With her 8 minute videotape Underscan, the scene 
changes from the perception of self in the landscape to the 
more mental, personal, internal world the medium brings 
forth. While Holt reads exerpts from letters received over 
a 10 year period from her aged aunt Ethel, still photo- 
graphs of the aunts house are seen, manipulated by the 
underscan process, which appears to stretch then com- 
press each image. The various states of distortion parallel 
and reference the manner in which the medium com- 
presses time. Holt understands and works within the 
cyclical nature of the video image. The effect is of depth 
and verticality rather than the horizontal, linear quality of 
film. The sound of Holt's voice reading of her aunt's 
descent into old age revolves about and intertwines with 
the visual images of the aunt's environment (we never see 
the aunt herself). We see instead, from the aunt's point of 
view. All the information becomes complete, inter- 
changeable, of an indivisable whole. 

'Nancy Holt, Sun Tunnels, Artforum, April 1977. 

13 



PHILADELPHIA INDEPENDENT FILM/ 

VIDEO ASSOCIATION 
By Linda Blackaby 

(Linda Blackaby is a film programmer, director of the 
Neighborhood Film Project in Philadelphia, and an (at- 
large) member of the PIFVA Steering Committee.) 



The recent formation of the Philadelphia Independent 
Film/Video Association (PIFVA) has been an exciting 
and energizing event to those of us who work here. 
While an informal network among independents has 
existed for some time, an upsurge in film and video 
exhibition and production has contributed to an 
increasing self-awareness and ongoing dialogue. When 
over 100 people attended a meeting last November called 
"The Independent Producer and Public TV" (at the 
Walnut Film/Video Center), the extent and depth of our 
film/video community became suddenly apparent. Over 
the following months, at organizing meetings 
INDEPENDENTS expressed the need and desire they 
felt for increased contact with each other, and for an 
organization that could address itself to the many 
critical issues which concern them. PIFVA is now a 
membership organization with a mailing list of over 200 
dues-paying film and video people. 

Philadelphia itself has recently been experiencing an 
upsurge in creative energies and a sense of new 
possibilities; the emergence of a strong independent 
film/video community is one reflection of this spirit. 
There is a shared determination among PIFVA members 
that Philadelphia can be a place for professional activity 
in our fields, and that we might not have to exile our- 
selves in order to work. 

PIFVA's announced purpose is to further the work of 
independent film and video makers. We have adopted 
AIVF's definition of independent production, and are 
most appreciative of the resources and expertise AIVF 
members have shared with us. PIFVA is now organized 
into six functioning task-oriented committees. A 
steering committee composed of representatives from 
each standing committee and four at-large members is 
responsible for proposing policy, facilitating business 
matters and setting meeting agendas. 

Specific tasks with which we are currently dealing 
include establishing a bank account, a post office box, 
and collecting dues. Meetings are being held monthly, 
with committee meetings and activity in between. A 
directory of local independents, their skills and their 
works is being compiled in conjunction with the member- 
ship solicitation, and will be published (the first of its 
kind here) in late summer. Film and video artists will 



also be included in a broader directory of visual artists in 
Philadelphia being produced by Arts Exchange 
magazine. An ongoing series of informal screenings of 
old, new and works-in-progress will start on April 23, 
and other schemes and co-productions are gradually 
emerging. 

One of PIFVA's major thrusts is to establish a workable 
relationship with our local PBS affiliate, WHYY. To this 
end, Broadcast Committee members are meeting with 
WHYY programming staff, who have agreed to preview 
10 hours of representative local independent work 
selected by PIFVA for incorporation into fall program 
slots. PIFVA has secured a promise that works 
broadcast will be paid for at a fair market price. We are 
asking for $100/minute, but the exact figure and format 
are still under serious discussion. 



There are other long-range projects. We are trying to 
educate ourselves so that we can participate in and take 
action on national issues affecting independent 
producers, such as the Communications Act rewrite, 
Carnegie II, and sources and channels of funds and 
support for independents. Besides WHYY, local issues 
and struggles include a controversy over cable 
franchises and access, paid and well-publicized public 
exhibition of our films and tapes, media attention, 
production opportunities, and the absolute lack of easy 
(low-cost, cooperatively owned) post-production facilities. 
PIFVA members are also introducing the organization 
to all the television stations, arts institutions and film 
exhibitors in this area who might prove responsive to 
urgings to program local work. We are reaching out to a 
wide variety of community groups, arts organizations, 
individual artists, media professionals and the general 
public to explore ways of cooperatively working on the 
many needs, concerns and feelings which we all share. 

PIFVA members are eager to be in correspondence with 
other organizations and individuals who share similar 
concerns and goals. While our P.O. box is pending, our 
temporary address is: 
PI FA c/o Neighborhood Film Project 

3601 Locust Walk 

Phila., PA 19104 (215) 386-1536 



14 



VOLUNTEER SELECTION PANELS 
FILL MEDIA WORKS SLOTS 



Thanks in large part to the generosity of good friends in 
the film and video community, FIVF has completed the 
selection process for thirty CETA positions, as a sub- 
contractor under the Cultural Council Foundation's 
Artists Program. Last year, for the first time since 
Franklin D. Roosevelt's Works Progress Administration 
of the 1930 's, the federal government began directly 
funding jobs for the artists in New York City. Three 
hundred of these jobs — raised to 325 this year — were 
administered through CCF, making this the largest jobs 
program for artists in the United States. 

FIVF's selection process for artists and artist coordina- 
tors involved two distinct stages. The first consisted of 
an evaluation of approximately 150 applications, in order 
to narrow them down to a manageable number of inter- 
views. Each application was reviewed by two separate 
members of the screening panel, which included Matt 
Clarke, Bill Johnson, Manny Kirchheimer, Barbara 
Margolis, Brad Dillon and Alan Jacobs. Each screener 
donated a day's work to help create our Media Works 
program. 

FIVF had 16 new CETA jobs available in March. Four- 
teen artists hired last year have 18-month contracts; 
their positions will be reopening next September. At 
least three applicants were interviewed for each job in 
the second stage of our selection process. Three three- 
member panels drawn from the independent community 
screened applicants' work in the mornings and 
interviewed the applicants themselves in the afternoons. 
Each panel evaluated the artists according to criteria of 
artistic merit, professional attitude and commitment to 
community service, then recommended them in order of 
preference. FIVF awarded the jobs on that basis. 

Like the screeners, the panelists received no remuner- 
ation for the time they gave. Federal CETA regulations 
provide no funds for subcontractors to create their 
programs or to administer them. FIVF wishes to express 
our gratitude to all our friends who took time off from 
their busy schedules to help us launch Media Works' 
second year. 

The panelists this year were: Mariette Allen, indepen- 
dent videomaker and photographer; Emma Cohn, Film 
Library Quarterly; Pablo Figueroa, independent film and 
television producer; Sara Fishko, WNET-TV film editor; 
Ginny Hashi, independent filmmaker; Rodger Larson, 
director, Young Filmmakers/Video Arts; Nancy Legge, 
former director, NYSCA Media Program; Henry Moore, 
Henry Street Settlement; and Bill Stephens, The 
People's Communication Network. The panel coordin- 
ators were Matt Clarke, Claude Beller and Alan Jacobs. 



The artists began work on March 19th and will spend 
the next six to 18 months sharing their expertise in film 
and video with non-profit community organizations. 
Three will administrate Media Works; 3 will be doing 
press, promotion and distribution; 3 will be producing 
self-initiated independent projects; 15 will be doing co- 
productions in long-term residencies. The remaining six 
will form a pool that will be available for short-term 
shoots and screenings. The pool will also bear the re- 
sponsibility of documenting the work of other CETA 
artists, if funding for this purpose becomes available. 

As of this writing, organizations receiving residencies 
include the Downtown Community Television Center, 
Third World Newsreel, Solidaridad Humana, NYPIRG, 
and the Institute of Labor Research and Education. 
Other groups who wish to request an artist-in-residence 
or to tap the pool should contact project coordinator 
Lillian Jimenez at (212) 966-0641. Bear in mind that no 
CETA or FIVF funds are available for hardware. There- 
fore it is incumbent upon each community organization 
to provide equipment (or rental fees), as well as tape or 
filming and processing. 



The thirty artists and artist-administrators selected to 
fill the positions are: 



Karen Brinkman 
Larry Bullard 
Jeff Byrd 
Roberta Cantow 
Chris Choy 
Jacqui Cook 
Cara DeVito 
George Diaz 
Eric Durst 
Deborah Green 
Tami Gold 
Michael Jabocsohn 
Lillian Jimenez 
Bill Jones 
Yoshio Kishi 



Marc Levin 

Christa Maiwald 

Jessie Maple 

Marvin "Diallo" McLinn 

Emilio Murillo 

Shelley Nemerofsky 

Eddie Pabon 

Fran Piatt 

Edgar Price 

John Rice 

Paul Schneider 

Jennifer Stearns 

Marilyn Ushan 

Bob Wiegand 

John Wise 



Readers of the Independent will be hearing more about 
these people in future issues. 

Welcome to FIVF! 

—Frances M. Piatt 



15 



LIANE BRANDON WINS SETTLEMENT 
FROM AT & T 

abridged from an article by Ron Cox 
Reprinted from Visions, the Boston 
Film/Video Foundation Newsletter. 

I have never seen a "certificate of destruction" before, 
but recently during an interview with Liane Brandon, 
an independent filmmaker who lives in the Boston area, 
I saw the strange document while we discussed her 
current settlement with the American Telephone and 
Telegraph Company. 

Some readers may remember that in December 1977 
Brandon won a landmark lawsuit against the University 
of California's Extension Media Center at Berkeley, 
based on the latter's production and distribution of a 
film with a title deliberately similar to Brandon's 
ANYTHING YOU WANT TO BE (see Visions, vol. 1, 
no. 8). 

At issue was the ripping-off of film titles, which is wide- 
spread in both the commercial and educational 
industries and misleads the public. A Federal district 
court, citing the "deliberate pirating of the plaintiff's 
property," ruled that although a film title is not 
specifically covered by Federal copyright laws, it is pro- 
tected under the common law doctrine against unfair 
competition when it attains "secondary meaning" status 
— i.e., when the product is associated in the minds of a 
substantial number of people with the good will it has 
achieved through public distribution and advertising. 
The court ruled that the U. of Cal. film constituted 
deliberate copying of title, subject matter and theme in 
order to trade upon Brandon's film's reputation, as 
well as an unfair competition and false description of 
goods distributed in interstate commerce. The judge 
ordered that all prints of the California film be destroyed 
and instructed the U. of Cal. to pay Brandon $33,700 to 
cover damages, court costs and her sizable legal fees. 

But while the ruling of last year was a victory for 
Brandon, it was obviously not a deterrent to the phone 
company, for it seems that even while the case against 
the U. of Cal. was in litigation in 1977, AT&T was in the 
process of distributing its own film entitled, brazenly 
enough, ANYTHING YOU WANT TO BE. Brandon 
hoped that once the court found in her favor against the 
U. of Cal., the phone company's film would somehow 
just go away. But it didn't. By April of 1978, Brandon 
estimated that over 700 prints were in distribution and 
were highly visible. 

"I was really upset," Brandon commented. "I had 
already won one case and I couldn't believe I had to go 
through it all over again. It was preposterous to me that 
an organization as large as the phone company couldn't 
come up with a different title for their film." 

Although the AT&T film was 28 minutes long, and 
Brandon's was 8 minutes, there were obvious similarities 
in the titles and subject matter. Since both films were 
being used primarily by educational and community 
organizations, Brandon was exeriencing a loss of revenue 
from the public's confusion of the two films. "In the non- 
theatrical market," Brandon explains, "potential film 
users frequently look for a film under the subject matter 

16 



heading in a catalogue index. People often don't 
remember the exact film title or the filmmaker's name." 
She adds that her artistic and political integrity could 
have been jeopardized and she didn't want people to 
think that the AT&T work was her film. 

So, a year ago last December, after writing letters 
asking AT&T to stop distribution, Brandon brought suit 
against the American Telephone and Telegraph 
Company and the New England Telephone and Tele- 
graph Company, charging them with violations nearly 
identical to those of the California case — everything she 
had already fought for and won. But, finally, after a year 
of legal proceedings and lengthy negotiations, the case 
was settled without a trial. AT&T agreed to destroy all 
copies of a short version of their film (hence the 
certificate) and to limit the distribution of the longer 
version to non-competing markets. The agreement 
further stipulates that the AT&T film cannot be adver- 
tised via the public media nor can it be shown in 
theaters or on TV. AT&T also agreed to pay Brandon 
substantial money damages. 

This new victory, Brandon believes, "shows that my 
earlier case carries enough weight for the phone 
company not to want to challenge it in court. Plus it 
demonstrates that legal channels can work for the 
independent filmmaker. It was also a matter of principle. 
It is very important for filmmakers to fight for their 
rights — that way we all win." 

Incidentally, for anyone who suspects a title rip-off it 
might be a good idea to alert organizations such as the 
Educational Film Library Association, the Association 
of Independent Video and Filmmakers, and the Associ- 
ation of Media Producers. Not to mention a good lawyer. 




Liane Brandon, Anything"VbuWantTo Be 



AIVF 
CLASSIFIEDS* 

BUY/RENT/SELL 

WANTED TO BUY: Used Bolex/Rex 4 
or Rex 5 with MST Motor. Call (212) 691- 
3470. 

EQUIPMENT FOR SALE: Professional 
Spectra meter and 15 attachments . . . 
$75. Battery pack to run 6 400 ft. 
magazines with one charge, incl. Bolex 
plus . . . $100. Bolex Re, Switar lens . . . 
$400. Write NY Filmmakers Workshop, 
Box 40, NYC, NY 10038. 

FOR SALE: Utility monitor, RCA TM 
18C. Call Gary Lindsey at Dance Nota- 
tion Bureau, (212) 736-4350. 

FOR SALE: 16mm Frezzolini Cvn. 
w/crystal 12-120 Angen. Tripods-O'Conner 
5OD,NCE0ECL, Milk, 4011bs, 35 Arri II 
w/lenses nd 4 magazines. Call (212) 486- 
9020. 

FOR RENT: Complete sound transfer 
equipment available. Also complete 
editing facilities. Call now, (212) 486- 
9020. 

TO RENT: Professional Audio Truck as 
1 piece with Eng. Stevenson Board 
16x4x2x1, 2 track 15 IPS. Total 20 
inputs using nic. confiners. TEAC 
Recorder full post mixing and dubbing. 
Many extras. Call Matt at (212) 864- 
8507. 

FOR SALE: Genreal Camera SS-III 
Frezzolini conversion. Auricon drive, 
crystal syn, power-pack, 2 batteries and 
chargers, 2 Mitchell mags, body pod, 
alum, case, 9.5-95 zoom reflex, single- 
system amplifier and recording head. 
$4200.00. Call Greg (914) 358-7840. 

FOR SALE! 

• 2 Sony 8650 VTR/Editors, xlnt. cond., 
$1800 pair of $1K ea. 

• Sony DXC-1610 color camera w/ 
Tamron 14-140 zoom, $2400; w/o lens, 
$2K; lens alone, $600. 

• Sony 8400 color VTR w/AC adptr. & 
hard shell case and Sony 3450 b/w 
camera, $1200; 8400 alone, $1K; 3450 
alone, $300. 

• Sony 1210 b/w camera, $300. 

• Shintron b/w switcher/SEG w/10 efx, 
rack mounted w/Shintron 310 sync 
gen. & 3 mons., $500. 

• Sony 2600 V* " VTR, good cond. w/RF, 
$800. 

All items carry a 30 day guarantee. 
Contact Pacific Coast Video, 635 1/2 
Chapala Street, Santa Barbara CA 
93101, (805) 965-5015. 



FOR SALE: General Camera SS-III 
Frezzolini conversion. Auricon drive, 
crystal sync, power-pack, 2 batteries and 
chargers, 2 Mitchell mags, body pod, 
alum, case, 9.5-95 zoom reflex, single- 
system amplifier and recording head. 
$4200.00. Call Jon (212) 925-9723. 

FOR RENT: Editing room; private, com- 
fortable, completely equipped: with 
16mm flickerless-prism Moviola flatbed, 
2 rewind tables, bins, splicers, etc. 24- 
hour access, own bathroom, phone. 
Located in West Village. Low rates by 
day, week, month; monthly rental 
preferred. Call 212-741-0612. 



OPPORTUNITIES/GIGS/ 
APPRENTICESHIPS 

A psychiatrist, with experience as a 
writer and consultant for educational, 
documentary and feature films, is 
seeking media work. Contact: Jeffrey 
Lieberman M.D. 200 West 15th St., 
NYC, NY 10011 (212) 691-6282. 

AFRO-AMERICAN ART AND 

CULTURE: Independent host/producer 
of monthly public affairs program which 
airs on UHF, Teleprompter and 
Manhattan Cable, would like to 
collaborate with video-film folks on 
volunteer basis. Has potential to 
blossom into bucks; but can only give 
credit. Program concerns itself with 
Afro-American art and culture. Call 
Larry (201) 623-3817. 

POSITION AVAILABLE: Adminis- 
trative Associate/Trainee. Non-profit 
Organization (music/dance/film/video) 
with college affiliation. Arts background 
helpful. Assist in production, 
management, school programs, services, 
general office. Free courses, medical 
coverage. Typing tested, accurate 
45wpm minimum. Salary: $135. to start, 
$150. after six weeks; salary reviewed 
quarterly. Send resume, three current 
references, and wpm to: CCT, 225 
Lafayette St., NYC 10012. DO NOT 
CALL. 

SEEKING WORK: in film or video. 
Background: Teaching Elem. Sch.; 
Research at State Education Depart.; 
Internship program at Manhattan Cable. 
Volunteer basis. Need experience. 
Contact: Robert Sharpe, 342 W. 71st St., 
NYC, NY (212) TR 3-5999.- 

ARTHUR MOKIN .PRODUCTIONS 
IS SEEKING 16MM EDUCATIONAL 
SHORTS. We are producers and dis- 
tributors of 16mm films for the educa- 
tional and television market. Contact Bill 
Mokin at (212) 757-4868 or write: Arthur 
Mokin Productions, Inc., 17 W. 60 St., 
NYC 10023. 

WANTED: Experienced technical 
assistant for 16mm documentary film; 



pay proportionate to budget — perhaps 
$4/hr. Skills wanted: snd. recording, 
asst'd camera/loader, gaffer, typing and 
P.R. (very minimal). Technical not 
creative opportunity; prefer woman; man 
would also be considered. Do not call. 
Send resume to: Irma Fleck, Bronx 
Frontier, 1080 Leggett/Bronx, NY 10474. 

EXPERIENCED NEGATIVE 

MATCHING: Quick, clean cut, low 
prices. B/W, color, negative-reversal. 
Call: Pola Rapaport, (212) 431-3773. 

FILM COMPOSER: specializing in 
electronic music, looking for filmmakers 
needing music written for their film. 
Robert Fair, (212) 966-2852. 

NO PAY EXPECTED: Available to 
apprentice or P. A. on any video shoots. 
Steven Lowe, (212) 825-0385. 

INDEPENDENT FILMMAKERS: 

16mm mixing (3 trks.) and original A&B 
roll cutting. Fast & reasonable. 
Pennebaker Inc. (212) 840-2425, ask for 
Chris. 

The International Communication 
Agency (ICA) is looking for films for 
showing overseas on U.S. educational 
and cultural matter which addresses 
themes that embassies request: Culture 
and the Arts: American Lit., Writers as 
Social Critics, Literary Criticism, 
Performing Arts, Visual Arts, Trends in 
American Films; Education: Innovations 
in American Education, Vocational 
Education, Minority Education, etc. For 
info, write: John Hoare Kerr, 5301 
Westbard Circle, Washington, D.C. 
20016 or call ICA (202) 376-7788. 

SEEKING WORK: In film. Background: 
20 years experience in documentary film 
in Roumania. Involved in all stages of 
film production: script-writing, directing, 
producing, editing, etc. M.A. in Film 
Directing, Institute of Theatrical and 
Cinematographical Art, Bucharest, 
Roumania. Looking for work in 
documentary or theatrical films, and 
would welcome the opportunity to meet 
and exchange ideas with other 
filmmakers. Call: Constantin Budisteanu, 
(212) 358-5312 or write: 141-25 Northern 
Blvd., Apt. D-29 Flushing, N.Y. 11354. 

TEMPORARY WORK AVAILABLE: 
Fees paid for people available for clerical, 
reception, accounting and computer work 
during business hours, at night and/or on 
Saturdays. If you are interested in 
becoming part of our resource pool, send 
a description of your skills and an indica- 
tion of your availability to Beth Mollins, 
CCF, 175 Fifth Ave., NYC, NY 10010. 

VIDEO GIG: Have unusual subject 
matter for independent videographer to 
produce documentary on turn-of-the- 
century comedy animal act, including 
live street performance and interview. 
Contact: Lloyd Steier, (212) 431-4563. 

17 



COURSES/CONFERENCES 

HOW TO GET GRANTS TO MAKE 
FILMS AND VIDEO. This year over 
fifty million dollars will be given away 
for motion picture projects from over one 
hundred sixty foundations and grant 
programs. On Saturday, May 26th, Film 
Grants Research will be conducting a on- 
day intensive workshop at the Associa- 
tion of Independent Video and 
Filmmakers (AIVF). Media artists who 
attend will receive a sixty-page packet 
listing addresses and selection guidelines 
of one hundred sixty funding sources 
supporting motion picture production, 
research and study, along with instruc- 
tion in how to contact these foundations 
and propose projects with the greatest 
chances of success. The workshop covers 
important budget considerations, includ- 
ing various ways of providing for your 
own salary and arranging matching 
funds. Ethnographic filmmaker Steve 
Penny, who has received grants to travel 
around the world and make films, will be 
leading the workshop, which runs from 
10:00 am to 5:00 pm (with an hour lunch 
break) at AIVF, 99 Prince St. New York 
City. Workshop Fee is $25.00 for AIVR 
Members/$35.00 General Public. 

WEEKEND VIDEO WORKSHOPS: 
Four workshops led by experts in their 
respective fields — writing with Marjorie 
Kellogg, directing with Estelle Parsons 
and Margot Lewitin, choreography with 
Linda Rodolitz and filmmaking with 
Andy Gurian — will be given on four 
different weekends, beginning April 27, 
by and at the Women's Interart Center 
(549 West 52 Street). Each workshop will 
be a hands-on, concentrated course in 
videomaking, but .geared to participants 
from different disciplines. For registra- 
tion info, call Liz Garfield, (212) 246- 
1050. 

FILM/TV PROBLEMS TO BE 
REVIEWED AT YF/VA SEMINAR: 
Entertainment industry attorney 
Michael F. Mayer will be offering a 
review and practical approach to 
business and legal problems confronting 
film and television producers during a 
series of legal seminars beginning in 
June at Young Filmmakers/Video Arts in 
New York. For enrollment information, 
call Young Filmmakers/Video Arts at 
(212)673-9361. 

9th ANNUAL SUMMER INSTITUTE 
ON THE MEDIA ARTS, presented by 
the University Film Center in Boston, 
will be held from June 17-July 6 on the 
campus of Hampshire College in 
Amherst, Mass. The Summer Institute is 
"an intense professional and personal 
experience in the media arts, offering a 
broad variety of workshops and seminars 
taught by well-known artists and 
critics." College credit available; registra- 



tion open to the public. Course 
descriptions and info are available from: 
Summer Institute, Univ. Film Study 
Ctr., 18 Vassar St., Room 120, 
Cambridge, Mass. 02139. (617) 253-7612. 

SUMMER INSTITUTE in the 
ECONOMICS AND FINANCING OF 
THE ARTS, offered by NYU Grad 
School of Public Admin., July 9-27 
(Mon.-Fri.); applications available from: 
Ms. Beth Blaskey, Summer Inst, in the 
Economics and Financing of the Arts, 
NYU, Grad School of Public Admin., 4 
Washington Sq. North, NYC 10003. (212) 
598-2441. 

The VISUAL STUDIES WORKSHOP 
SUMMER INSTITUTE 1979 conducts a 
wide range of educational and service 
programs in visual arts and related 
disciplines. For info, write: Visual 
Studies Wkshp., 31 Prince St., Rochester, 
NY 14607. (716) 442-8676. 

HANDS-ON VIDEO WORKSHOP, May 
18-20, for choreographers to be led by 
Linda Rodolitz and Susan Milano at the 
Women's Interart Center. For info, call 
Liz Garfield (212) 246-1050. 

U.S. CONFERENCE FOR AN 
ALTERNATIVE CINEMA: June 12-17, 
to be held at Bard College in New York, 
is the first national conference oi 
activists involved in the production, 
distribution and use of social change 
media (film, video and slides). The 
Conference will include workshops, 
panels and screenings. For further info, 
send a stamped, self-addressed envelope 
to: US Conference for Alt. Cinema, 192 
Broadway, Room 708, NYC, 10038. (212) 
964-1350. 

I am conducting a workshop on "How to 
Program Independent Films" at the up- 
coming conference of NY State Arts 
Councils. My focus will be on films by in- 
dependents and promotional materials on 
your films is needed. Please send 10-60 
copies (or whatever is affordable) to: Ariel 
Dougherty, Exec, Dir., Greene County 
Council on Arts, Box 126, Athens, NY 
12015. 



FUNDS/RESOURCES 

CAPS: Funds available for New York 
State Creative Artists; offering 
fellowships to professional artists to 
create new works and participate in 
community services. For applications 
write: Creative Artists Public Service 
Program, 250 West 57th Street, Room 
1424, NYC, NY 10019. 

NEW NEA GUIDE TO PROGRAMS 
AVAILABLE: To receive The Arts 



Endowment's Guide to Programs and to 
be put on their mailing list for upcoming 
application deadlines, write: Public Infor- 
mation, National Endowment for the 
Arts, 7th Floor, West Wing, 2401 E 
Street NW, Washington, DC 20506. 

TRIMS AND GLITCHES 

FILMS FROM THE GAY COM- 
MUNITY wanted for possible inclusion 
in the upcoming Conference for an Al- 
ternative Cinema. Contact Rich 
Berkowitz c/o AIVF. 

The BAY AREA TASK FORCE ON 
PUBLIC BROADCASTING is holding 
regular meetings for independent 
producers who are concerned with indie 
funding by CPB and interested in 
forming policy recommendations. If 
interested, contact Chris Dorr, Film Arts 
Foundation, 490 Second St., S.F., CA 
94107. (415) 495-7949. 

INDEPENDENT CINEMA ARTISTS 
AND PRODUCERS (ICAP) has been 
awarded $40,000 over the next two years 
by The John & Mary R. Markle Foun- 
dation. According to Markle Foundation 
Program Officer Jean Firstenberg, "The 
Markle Board supports the effort of 
ICAP to bring the work of independents 
before the public...". ICAP has been 
distributing independent film and video 
to cable and pay television systems since 
1975. In 1978 ICAP's volume of titles 
grew by 68% and gross revenues from 
cablebroadcasting independent work 
quadrupled. For info, call (212) 226-1655. 

The AMERICAN FEDERATION OF 
ARTS has added the 1979 "Whitney 
Biennial Film Exhibition" to its 
circulating programs of film as art. The 
8-part series, consisting of 19 films 
produced from 1977-78, is now available 
for scheduling by museums, universities 
and media centers in the U.S. and 
Canada. For info, call (212) 988-7700 or 
write AFA, 41 East 65th St., NYC 
10021. 

A VIDEO CO-OP FOR SCREENINGS 
is being planned at Pleiades Gallery, 152 
Wooster St., NYC. Membership and 
criteria to be determined. For info, call 
(212) 475-9658. 



CONGRATULATIONS to our friends 
and longstanding members of the 
AIVF, Barbara Kopple and Hilary 
Harris, who have been chosen for 
Guggenheim grants! 



*The AIVF Classifieds is a publication of the Association of Indepen- 
dent Video and Filmmakers, Inc., 99 Prince St., NY, NY 10012, subscrip- 
tion to which is included in the price of membership. 



18 




EllenHovde andMirraBank, Jokes or Love Departed 



MBHHH^HB 



AIVF/FIVF 

99 Prince Street 
New York, NY 10012 



Wed. May 9 INSURANCE FORUM: Third part of our series withoutside professionals. Presented by Rose H. Schaler, insurance 

8:00 pm broker, member of council of Insurance Brokers of Greater NY Inc. & Life Underwriters Asso. of the City of NY Inc.; 

99 Prince St. and Larry Grant; Exec VP of Chubbs Corp. Rose will discuss basic insurance needs of the indie, i.e. health, life, 

workmen's comp. liability. Larry will address special entertainment risk packages, i.e. production equipment, etc. 

Admission: $1.50 members; $2.50 non-members. 

Mon.May 14 SCREENING AND DISCUSSION OF FILMS BY MIRRA BANK, IRIS CAHN, ELLEN HOVDE, AVIVA SLESIN AND ANITA 

8:00 pm THATCHER. 

Millenium Jokes or Love Departed (28 min.) — A film about loneliness, death, and the value of live in defiance of life's dis- 

66 E. 4th St. appointments. Based on a short story (Dreamers in a Dead Language) Jokes is Part I of a projected trilogy based on 

stories by Grace Paley about family life. Dogs (3 min.) — A short film in which 5 dogs gather around a fire hydrant to 
sing "HavaNagila", the theme from "2001" and "Aquarius". Saturday Night Live's Bill Murray stars; AvivaSlesin 
and Iris Cahn are the filmmakers. A Bird For All Seasons ( 4 V2 1 min.) — A dramatic short made for NBC's Saturday 
Night Live featuring Bill Murray as a TV Executive forecasting the new season. Live talking birds dressed in costumes 
play the characters in the coming attractions. Produced and directed by Aviva Slesin. Sea Travels (11 min.) A sur- 
realistic film made with optical printed techniques about a young girl who acts as a guide on a journey aimed at recap- 
turing childhood through the distortion of memory. Anita Thatcher directed. The filmmakers will be present to answer 
questions. Admission: $1.50 members; $2.50 non-members. 

Tues.May 22 SCREENING: DAVID KOFF'S "BLACK MAN'S LAND" (Part I, II) White Man's Country (52 min.) - The violent 

8:00 pm origins of Colonial rule, white settlement and African resistance are portrayed. MAU MAU (52 min.) — A political 

School of analysis of Africa's first modern guerilla war, and the myths that surround it. ' 'As a record of flagrant racism from the 

Visual Arts recent past, MAU MAU is invaluable." — John O'Connor, NY Times. The series was produced by David Koff, with 

209 E. 23rd St Anthony Howarth and narrated by Musindo Mwinyipembe. We are hoping the producers will be able to attend. Admis- 

sion: $1.50 members; $2.50 non-members. 

Wed. May 30 ANIMATED FILMS SCREENING: A program of selected animated films by the members of the New York Independent 

8:00 pm Film Animators. The filmmakers, whose work encompasses a diversity of film styles will be present for discussion. 

99 Prince St. Eric Durst of FIVF's Media Works Program will curate. Admission: $1.50 members; $2.50 non-members. 

Tues. June 5 FORUM: MITCHELL BLOCK ON DISTRIBUTION: From commercial distribution to self-distribution to commercial 

8:00 pm self-distribution. The INDEPENDENT'S "Business" columnist Mitchell Block will conduct a workshop on non- 

99 Prince St. theatrical distribution. Topics will include: contract negotiations, foreign sales, pbulic tv, promotion and advertising, 

marketing and comparison of various kinds of non-theatrical distribution. Block, an Emmy-award-winning filmmaker 
and President of Direct Cinema Ltd. maintains that it is possible for a commercial distributor to operate in the interest 
of the independent filmmaker. Admission: $1.50 members; $2.50 non-members. 

Upcoming in June: an evening of social change cinema focusing on the work of women, blacks and gays. 




indepe ndent 



SUMMER 1979 




a publication of the Foundation for Independent Video and Film Inc. 



the 



I Independent: 



summer 73 



THE INDEPENDENT is published 10 times yearly by the 
Foundation for Independent Video and Film, Inc., 99 Prince 
St., NY, NY 10012, with support from the New York State 
Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts, 
a federal agency. Subscription is included in membership to 
the organization. 

Publisher: Alan Jacobs 

Editor: Bill Jones 

Associate Editor: Rich Berkowitz 

Contributing Editors: Mitchell W. Block 
Dee Dee Halleck 
Sol Rubin 
Frances Piatt 

Layout & Design: Bill Jones 

Typesetting: Josephine Coppa, Compositype Studio 



The viewpoints expressed herein do not necessarily reflect 
the opinion of the Board of Directors — they are as diversified 
as our member and staff contributors. 

We welcome your response in the form of letters, reviews, 
articles or suggestions. As time and space are of the essence 
we can't guarantee publication. Please send your material tc 
THE INDEPENDENT, 99 Prince St., NY, NY 10012. If you'd like 
your material returned to you please enclose a self-addressed 
stamped envelope. 

NOTE: All submissions to newsletter due by the 15th of 
month preceding publication, preferrably earlier. 

DDDDDDDDDDDDaDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD 

Letter From The President 

My association with AIVF began one spring night in 1974 at 
the Lion's Head bar when Ed Lynch became infused with 
John Culkin's brainstorm to form a group from all the inde- 
pendents in New York. By AlVF's first meeting we already had 
250 members. And we've been growing ever since. 

As AIVF/S first president, Ed was an eloquent spokesperson. 
Ting Barrow bravely stepped into his shoes. Dee Dee Halleck 
renewed the fervor of our commitments. 

We are fortunate to have someone like Alan Jacobs as our 
Executive Director to aid us in the design and execution of 
AIVF future service to its members. That we now have an 
executive director rather than an administrative director 
reflects the growing importance of what we say and do. 
Orchestrating our many positions is more than a full-time job. 

In the future I think we ought to shoot for the moon with all 
the energy we summon in making our own films and tapes. 

When I was younger my girlfriend's mother would give us 
rather Victorian advice. A woman's role was to "brighten her 
own little corner". This idea puzzled me for a long time but I 
finally decided that if you wanted more light in a room you 
ought to get right down to it and change the room. Put in 
windows and get some real light. 

In the future we must be more than a brightness in the corner 
of the film business. AIVF-FIVF must redesign and expand 
the space for independents. As your president I look forward 
to my part in this work. 

Jane Morrison. 




BUSINESS By Mitchell W. Block 3 

MEDIA AWARENESS By Robin Weber 4 

FILM CLINIC By Sol Rubin 5 

FIVF HOSTS BIG MAC CONFERENCE 6 

By Alan Jacobs 

THE FEDERAL ARTIST By Fran Piatt "7 

SHORT FILM SHOWCASE S 

REGIONAL REPORT 

By Kathy Seltzer and Sallie Fischer 

MEDIA By Dee Dee Halleck 9 

AIVF CLASSIFIEDS 1G 

DDDDDDDDDDDDnDaDDnDODDDDDnnaDDDDn 



AIVF has recently received several inquiries regarding the 
formation of local chapters. 

The Board believes that a local organization would best 
respond to the needs of that particular region and be in a 
better position to maintain the impetus for a truly active local 
organization. 

Examples were offered such as the Boston Film/Video 
Foundation and the Washington Area Filmmakers League, 
both of whom called on our expertise and have successfully 
launched local organizations. We maintain a brother-sister 
relationship with these organizations, and have at times 
sponsored joint projects. Many of their membership also 
maintain membership in the AIVF and are therefore provided 
with a strong local base and access to national services as 
well. Hopefully, the energy generated by the possibility of 
forming local chapters can be channeled into forming a 
strong local base. 

The Board's response was based on our limited financial and 
staff resources, and therefore the inability to effectively 
administer chapters. Concern was voiced over the fact that 
we not become a superstructure for organizations but rather 
remain a national organization for individual independent 
video and filmmakers. 

Corrections 

In the April 1979 issue in the article on independent 
programming on PTV, in the last paragraph the word snow was 
misprinted as show. In Chicago "snow" was a joke. The point 
of the article was that such localisms go by unnoticed 
outside their regions. Such is obviously the case. 

Dee Dee Halleck 

Correction: In our May 1979 issue of the Independent Over- 
Under, Sideways- Down was incorrectly listed as a film by 
Steve Wax. The proper credits as they appear on the screen 
are: Written by Peter Gessner and Gene Corr; Directed by 
Gene Corr, Peter Gessner and Steve Wax; Produced by Steve 
Wax. 



By Mitchell W. Block 



MAKING FILMS FOR UNCLE SAM - 
Getting on the List 

In the November 8, 1978 issue of "Daily Variety", a 
front page headline read, "FEDS SEEK FILM 
PRODUCERS LIST FOR FUTURE AUDIO-VISUAL 
WORK." My production company, now almost two- 
thirds of a year later, is getting the opportunity to get a 
piece of the $500 million annual Federal film pie. As an 
independent filmmaker, this looks like the biggest 
cookie jar around. At least it will pay for the work I 
really want to do. This column is about the "List" and 
what it means. 

The "List" refers to the "Qualified Film Producers 
List", (QFPL) to which twenty federal agencies send 
"Requests for Proposals" (RFP) or film bids. Presently 
there are 312 companies listed. About 100 companies 
were "grandfathered" by the Department of Defense 
(DOD). These are companies that had previously made 
films for the 20 agencies. The rest of the companies 
were added, based on applications received in the first 
cycle. The list was ordered by computer in a random 
manner. 

When a federal agency has a film (budgeted between 
$10,000 and $100,000 or more) it can request, in lots of 
five names, companies that are on the list. In addition, 
.the agency may add up to two companies per five 
name lots. These companies, however, must be on the 
list. Once the DOD cycles through the list new 
companies will be added. 

For an application write or call the DOD Directorate for 
Audio-Visual Activities, 1117 N. 19th Street, Room 601, 
Arlington Virginia 22209, telephone # (202) 694-4914. 
This office is serving as Executive Agent for the Office 
of Federal Procurement Policy. It does not presently 
deal with videotape, sound slides, multi-media 
production or separate media services. Contracts will 
be offered to all "technically qualified to do motion 
picture work for the government." In the original cycle 
producers were requested to submit a 16mm sound 
sample film, approximately 30 min. for evaluation by 
the Interagency Audiovisual Review Board. The sample 
film had to have been produced within the preceeding 
three years. The Review Board Panel is composed of 
members of twenty federal agencies and at least five 
members are represented on the panel. 

A. Achievement of Purpose(s): (You state the 
purpose on the application when you submit 
the film.) to 20 Points 

(1) Did the film accomplish its stated pus- 
purpose^)? 

(2) Was it appropriate for its intended audience? 

(3) What were the reviews' impressions of the 
films? 

B. Creativity: to 25 Points 

(1) Did the film provide a fresh or innovative 
way of conveying the message? 

(2) Was the manner of presentation appro- 
priate? 



C. Continuity: to 15 Points 

(1) Did the subject develop in a logical or 
understandable manner? 

D. Technical Quality: to 40 Points 

(1) Did the following qualities in the film 
exhibit technical competence? (a) Direction 
(b) Writing (c) Photography (d) Editing 
(e) Artwork/Animation (f) Narration (g) Music 
and^Sound (h) Special Effects 
If your film does not receive a score of 70 or better you 
will be notified. You are allowed to continue to submit 
films until you get on the list. Films are evaluated on a 
first-in, first-out basis. Once you are on the list, you are 
permitted to stay on the list indefinitely. It is important 
that your name be on the film's credits as "Producer", 
or you must submit a statement on the client/sponsor 
letterhead certifying that the motion picture was 
produced by you or your firm. 

The Forms: The DOD sends a packet of material to fill 
out when you submit your film. It requests the 
following kinds of information: title of film presented, 
running time, date film was produced, brief statement 
explaining the purpose of the film (this obviously is 
important, since this is one area in which your film is 
evaluated), client/sponsor, contract price or production 
cost, and your name. A few additional questions are 
asked about your film production business. I was able 
to qualify with my film, "Speeding?" which I produced 
partly through a National Endowment for the Arts/ 
American Film Institute Independent Filmmakers 
Grant. 

The rest of the packet consists of 52 plus pages of the 
standard government contract. 

The DOD will continue to accept applications for the 
QFPL and will, as material comes in, evaluate it. 
However, once a cycle begins new names will not be 
added to the list until all listed producers have had a 
chance to bid. 

The RFP: This is a bid form. It providesdetailed speci- 
fications of what is wanted in the film. Unlike some 
state agencies, the new Federal policy does not 
require film producers to write a creative treatment 
(script) as part of the bid package. These are now 
provided by the agency. If a treatment or script is 
wanted, it will now have to be paid for by the agency. 

The Information Film Producers of America has 
worked with the DOD on this system and has 
sponsored seminars on both Coasts with the directors 
of the DOD to explain it. Their work is outstanding, and 
AIVF members might contact them for additional 
information about this and their organization. This new 
system is a major improvement over the old system, 
,when RFPs would be sent out to thirty plus 
contractors, since now it is unlikely that more than 14 
companies will be bidding for any one film. Of course, 
if you are not interested in making a film about 
cleaning|guns(or whatever), you are not required to turn 
in a bid. If you do not have a Dun and Bradstreet rating 
or a security clearance you will not be penalized. 



mm hum 




by Robin Weber 



Our newly formed Telecommunications Policy Council 
remains hot on the trail of media reform. Working with 
the Executive Committee or our Board to develop 
strategies for the implementation of the Telecommuni- 
cations Financing Act, and specifically, the 
administration of funds for independent programming, 
we'll be submitting a proposal to CPB shortly. The 
proposal suggests administration of the funds by 
representatives nominated by the independent 
community, includes decision-making by peer review 
panels, and outlines guidelines to insure maximum 
geographic diversity and minority participation. As part 
of our efforts to implement the bill, we urge you all to 
monitor your local station by attending station board 
meetings. 

Three ominous bills to review the 1934 
Communications Act are now pending before 
Congress. The bills threaten public involvement in all 
forms of telecommunications, from telephones to 
satellites. The House bill, sponsored by Chairman Van 
Deerlin, appears to be receiving the most attention. It 
stipulates one year exclusive broadcast rights, even for 
works only partially funded. We believe this should 
only be the case for works funded in full. We also 
object to the proposed "giveaway" of indie work to 
libraries, particularly the provision where the 
Programming Services Endowment gets a cut on the 
return. 

The bill also proposes advertising on ptv, which we 
believe distorts the character of ptv programming. 
Public tv should be an alternative to commercial tv, not 
model itself after it. The implication of demographics 
may inhibit local programming and negate prime time 
for indies. Another provision of the bill calls for 
presidentially appointed Boards. We want to see public 
election of Boards. In addition, the bill proposes 
random selection of licensees, the elimination of 
comparative license hearings and station 
ascertainment, and decreased EEO requirements. We 
believe that these measures seriously threaten public 
involvement, which is essential to the character of a 
democratic telecommunications system. 

Two Senate bills have also emerged, though neither of 
them address public tv. The Goldwater/Schmidt bill 
favors the broadcaster even more than the Van Deerlin 
bill. This is clearly indicated by the proposed 
establishment of an Office of Deregulation, the 
condoning of combined ownership of media 
properties, the prohibition of comparative license 
hearings and random selection of licenses. 

The Hollings bill, though the lesser of the three evils, 
fails to sufficiently protect public involvement. In not 
considering other media ownerships in license 
selection, it condones monopolistic control; and it 
extends tv licenses to 5 years while decreasing 
stations' ascertainment requirements. However, this 
bill maintains the fairness doctrine and EEO provi- 
sions. All three bills lack provisions to require the 
reservation of more space for public educational 
channels as it becomes available. A formula to divide 



the spectrum to public and commercial use must be 
designed for future growth. This is especially 
important as it pertains to satellite transmission. 

Our recent meetings with other public interest groups 
and with House and Senate aides, have clarified for us 
the necessity to oppose the Rewrite of the Communi- 
cations Act as now proposed by the three bills. The 
Congressional premise that deregulation promotes 
diversity has been disproven in other industries. We 
believe that diversity will only be secured by systems 
that nourish it. Deregulation means abandoning our 
responsibilities to educate and protect citizens. We 
believe that telecommunications should not be 
considered in the same light as any other consumer 
item, but rather, that it is a need that people have — 
both to transmit and receive. Imaginative and gradual 
regulation is needed now more than ever to encourage 
diversity, and responsiveness to public needs and 
developing technologies. 

Indies have an important role in creating a pluralistic 
media environment. At present no viable economic 
support exists for our community. Meaningful 
regulation could provide incentives for increased 
involvement of indies at PBS and the networks. Other 
nations have supported their media communities. It is 
time for the U.S. to follow suit. We are scheduled to 
testify on the House bill in June and are awaiting 
Senate response. Our presentations at conferences 
this spring have served to generate awareness among 
indies and the broader public about the impact of this 
legislation. Our testimony in full will be available upon 
request, for the cost of printing and mailing, in late 
June. Contact the AIVF office. 

The Communications Subcommittee of the House of 
Representatives is currently holding hearings on HR 
3333, the Communications Act Rewrite. This bill would, 
among other things, grant perpetual licensing of 
television stations. The Telecommunications Policy 
Council of the Association of Independent Video and 
Filmmakers has taken a position in opposition to the 
bill. We need your support and help. It is urgent that 
you write your representative whether or not they 
reside on the Communications Subcommittee and urge 
them to oppose the Rewrite. The following is a sample 
letter that you may use as a model: 

Dear Representative Smith: 

I urge you to work against the passage of HR 3333, the 
Communications Rewrite bill, in its entirety. 

I believe that perpetual license and very limited 
regulation of television stations would be a great 
injustice to Americans, especially independent video 
and filmmakers like myself. 

Periodic review of station performances assure that 
citizens of our district are better informed and the 
interests of the community are served. 

I look forward to learning of your position on HR3333. 

Sincerely, 



(Profile is a regular column dedicated to keeping our readers 
up-to-date on the work of our members and associates. We 
welcome contributions.) 

PORTABLE CHANNEL has announced video equipment 
grants awarded to local and regional videomakers through its 
"Project Review Process." Recipients include: DAVID ROSE, 
independent video producer and media coordinator for the 
Center for Youth Services, Rochester NY, for his production 
Still Life, which is a study of isolation as a result of 
personal tragedy, using video to describe his "interior 
landscape"; TOBE CAREY, video artist from Glenford, NY 
who is producing a videotape dealing with radiation workers 
in West Valley, NY, following both pro- and anti-nuclear 
experts and workers as the plant's operation and legacy are 
explained. PORTABLE CHANNEL'S Project Review Process is 
designed to provide free access to equipment for experienced 
videomakers in New York State. . . 

...iNO DIABLO!, produced by 20 independent California 
producers, was aired recently on KQED. The show is a 
dramatic half-hour about popular efforts to prevent the Diablo 
Canyon nuclear power plant from opening. Quad copies are 
available to screen at local public television stations. For 
videocassette screening copies, send a blank half-hour tape 
to: Andrea Gonzalez, KQED, 500 8th Street, S.F., CA 

...The folks at GREEN MOUNTAIN POST FILMS who 
produce and distribute several films concerned with work in 
energy education and commercial nuclear power (such titles 
as Lovejoy's Nuclear War, Better Active Today than 
Radioactive Tomorrow, The Atom and Eve,) have announced 
their most recent acquisition dealing with nukes titled 
Sentenced to Success, It is a union-produced film which 
"sheds light on the awesome questions raised by nuclear 
waste". For more information write GMP, PO Box 177, 
Montague, MA. 01351. . . . 

INDEPENDENT SCREENINGS 

AMERICAN INDEPENDENT CINEMA: RECENT 

ACQUISITIONS, a show of 16 programs of independent films 
acquired by the archives of the Dept. of Film at the Museum 
of Modern Art. The films range from the 1940's to present-day 
works, and will feature films by GEORGE GRIFFIN, MARK 
RAPPAPORT, JONAS MEKAS, STAN BRAKHAGE, MICHAEL 
SNOW and others. For more info, contact: Ken Wittrup (212) 
956-4208. 

THE 5TH ANNUAL ITHACA VIDEO FESTIVAL: is a touring 
exhibition and Public Television broadcast, presenting a 
selection of the finest independent video produced in the U.S. 
it will be shown Aug. 1-31 at the Donnell Library Center. 
Selections from this year's Festival will also be broadcast on 
WXXI, Rochester, N.Y., and cablecast on Manhattan Cable, 
New York City. This year 20 tapes will be. exhibited in the 
touring Festival and include recent works by artists such as 
SKIP BLUMBERG, KIT FITZGERALD, JOHN SANBORN, GARY 
HILL, STEVEN KOLPAN, MITCHELL KRIEGMAN, SUSAN 
RUSSELL, SALLY SHAPIRO. For more information, call Rich 
at AIVF or Ithaca Video Projects, (607) 272-1596. 

JONATHAN SARNO's The Kirlian Witness will be screened 
June 14-17 and 21-24 at the Film Forum. Call (212) 989-2994. 

Selected video works by GARY HILL will be shown on the 
Syracuse Cable Systems (Channel 7) May 11 through June 30 
5:30-6:00 pm. 

JANE WARRfNBRAND and DENISE BOSTRUM's Health- 
caring: From Our End of the Speculum will be screened with 
In The Best Interests of the Children by the IRIS FILM COOP 
on July 13-15, at the Brecht auditorium, 830 Broadway 8th 
Floor, NYC. Call (212) 989-6493 for more info 



□ 
□ 
□ 
D 
D 
D 
D 
D 
D 
D 
D 
D 
D 
D 

a 

D 
D 
D 
D 
D 

a 

D 

a 
a 
a 
a 
□ 

D 
D 

a 
a 
a 

D 
D 
D 
D 
D 

a 
□ 

D 
D 

a 

D 
□ 
D 
D 
□ 

a 
a 

□ 

D 

a 
a 
a 
a 
a 

D 

a 
□ 
□ 
a 

D 

a 

D 

□ 

D 
D 
D 
□ 
□ 

a 

D 
D 
D 
□ 
□ 
D 
D 
D 
□ 
D 
D 
□ 
D 
D 
□ 
□ 
D 
D 
D 



FILM CLINIC by SOL RUBIN 



Colors Aid Editing Process 

Everyone is searching for short-cuts to bypass the 
marathon period in filmmaking, the labyrinth of 
sprocketed spaghetti, suspended from hundreds of 
pins into the cloth-covered sacred urns. The following 
is a system that may aid in organizing and simplifying 
the basic procedures of the editing process. 

For years I have used a procedure which involves the 
use of colored file cards which, by color, are used to 
designate each scene of a differing theme or action of 
basic importance. For example, gray cards may be 
assigned to shots of old people, white cards may 
designate "children", or pink cards for scenes of a riot. 
I cut a 3" x 5" card into 4 parts, since the 1 1/2" x 2 
1/2" are sufficient for our visual wisdom. In the 
upper left corner we jot down the basic shot, L.S., M.S. 
or Close Up; beneath, in caps, a brief description of 
the main action. In the next line an arrow system shows 
screen direction, camera movement etc.. In the lower 
left corner note the screen time. In the right corner 
write the scene number in pencil for easy erasure. You 
may copy the edge numbers from your film. 

Story board drawings are very helpful if you have an art 
background, but a crude facsimile will do. I keep the 
multicolored cards on a board with grid line rectangles 
to accept the cards and matching scene numbers. The 
board is kept on a low table to the left of the editor. If 
you want to remove a scene from the reel, take out its 
matching card from the board and keep them together. 
Even after completing the film, keep the multicolor 
cards with the original, full-coat, track etc. for possible 
changes in the future. 

One proven advantage of the above process is that 
setting up the card system takes only a fraction of the 
time of the traditional, lengthy editing procedure. 



FIVF SCREENING 

SELECTED FILMS FROM 

THE U.S. CONFERENCE FOR 
AN ALTERNATIVE CINEMA 

June 26 
S=OOpm 

Millenium 66 e. 4th St. 



Admission: $1.50 members; $2.50 non-members. 



FIVF Hosts 




rp 

Ud 



you doesn't have to call us Media Arts 
up with something better in two wor 



Representatives from more than 45 non-profit film and 
video organizations across the country met for a three- 
day conference to discuss the phenomenal growth of 
the field during the last 5 years. These groups, 
representing many different local and regional 
situations, explored ways to improve our services and 
strengthen our positions and the positions of the 
artists and audiences we serve. These services include 
film and video production and post-production, 
equipment loan, education, training, preservation and 
exhibition. Workshops and forums focused on more 
efficient management of programs, diversification of 
funding, relationship of MACs to local PTV stations, 
legislative advocacy, and the public perception of 
independent film and video. 




Howard Klein, Rockefeller Foundation. 



Our many different concerns frequently resolved into 
two distinct themes: advocacy and visibility. What is 
an "independent"? Who are independent video and 
filmmakers? How is their work different from 
Hollywood and television? For media centers 
organized to support and develop independent 
production, the critical question became how to 



generate support for work that has not been clearly 
defined and is apparently not understood by both 
potential audiences and funding sources. 

The solution proposed by the Conference was a 
conscientiously developed advocacy in its broadest 
definition: more advertising and promotion of 
independent work, development of critical standards to 
evaluate the work, more critical reviews, legislative 
advocacy on behalf of MACs as well as independent 
artists, regional alliances, cooperative programming, 
and a national identity — viz. a national newsletter and 
a national coalition of MACs. Naturally, it was much 
easier to agree on problems and solutions than on how 
to implement these solutions. We are a young group 
taking careful first steps. 

Due to the limits of our budget the Conference was 
forced to exclude many organizations who obviously 
belong in any future coalition. The concern of 
Conference members that these groups be included in 
any developing organization is strongly reflected in a 
series of unanimously passed resolutions: 

"That the Steering Committee of the Conference 
design a national advocacy organization, or 
coalition, of film and video groups to (a) press 
their interests nationally and regionally in the 
areas of funding and (b) improve public under- 
standing of the importance of media art forms. 
Formal organization of this new body, which will 
be open to all film and video art groups in the 
United States, shall take place later this year 
following further action by the Steering Committee. 

That the Steering Committee's representation of 
minorities, video groups, rural areas, independent 
producers, and the Midwest be expanded through 
the addition of new members. 

The Hispanics, Blacks, and other minorities be 
involved in area media arts programs to the extent 
that they are part of the respective areas. 

That the minimum fee paid to visiting artists in 
public appearances be at least a $200 honorarium 
plus travel expenses. 

In attendance: 

STAFF: Thomas Lennon, Conference Director; Cathy Hartz, assis- 
tant; Robin Weber, assistant; Amy Greenfield, Field of Vision, 
photographer; Wanda Bershen, Field of Vision, writer. 
PRESENT STEERING COMMITTEE: Robert Haller, Pittsburgh Film- 
makers, Chairman; Susan Woll, Boston Film/Video Foundation; 
Alan Jacobs, Foundation for Independent Film and Video (NYC); 
Robert Sitton, Northwest Film Study Center (Portland); Virgil Grillo. 
Rocky Mountain Film Center (Boulder); Gail Waldron, Bay Area 
Video Coalition (San Francisco); Stan Woodward, South Carolina 
Arts Commission. 

PARTICIPANTS: Henry Baker, Synapse Video Center, Syracuse; 
Mary Lee Bandy, Museum of Modern Art, NYC; Linda Blackaby, 
Neighborhood Film Project, Philadelphia; Huey, Maine Film 
Alliance; Camille Cook, Art Institute of Chicago; Nadine Covert, 
Educational Film Library Association; Nash Cox, Kentucky Arts 
Commission; Sally Dixon, Film-in-the-Cities; Nancy Drew, Long 



enters if you can come 
< or less — please write 



by Alan Jacobs 



Beach Museum of Arts; Sallie Fischer, University Community Video 
(Minneapolis); Georgeanne Fletcher, Southern Arts Federation; Cliff 
Frazier, Institute of New Cinema Artists (NYC); Martha Gies, North- 
west Media Project (Portland); Virgil Grille-, Rocky Mountain Film 
Center; Howard Guttenplan, Millenium Film Workshop (NYC); John 
Giancola, New York State Council on the Arts; Ronald Green, Ohio 
State University; Robert Haller, Pittsburgh Filmmakers, Inc.; 
Candida Harper, Grassroots TV Network (Aspen); Isabel Hill, 
Alabama Film-Makers Cooperative; Gisela Hoelcl, University Film 
Studies Center; Ed Hugetz, Southwest Alternate Media Project; 
Jack Harris, National Endowment for the Arts; Gayla Jamison, 
IMAGE (Atlanta); Alan Jacobs, Foundation for Independent Film and 
Video (NYC); William Judson, Carnegie Institute (Pittsburgh); Larry 
Karr, American Film Institute; Howard Klein, Rockefeller Foun- 
dation; Katherine Kline, Television Laboratory at WNET/13; Dan 
Ladely, Sheldon Film Theater (Nebraska); Rodger Larson, Young 
Filmakers/Video Arts (NYC); Edith Kramer, Pacific Film Archives; 
Mary MacArthur, Kitchen Center for Video and Music (NYC); Jonas 
Mekas, Anthology Film Archives; Adan Medrano, Oblate Com- 
munications (San Antonio); Cynthia Neal, Chicago Editing Center; 
Brian O'Doherty, National Endowment for the Arts; Stevenson Palfi, 
New Orleans Video Access Center; Richard Peterson, Walker Art 
Center; John Reilly, Global Village; Michael Rothbard, Intermedia 
Art Center (New York); Norie Sato, and/or (Seattle); David 
Shapiro, Media Study/Buffalo; Michele Schofield, Boston Film/ 
Video Foundation; Robert Sitton, Northwest Film Study Center; 
Herb Smith, Appalshop (Kentucky); George Stevens Jr., American 
Film Institute; Nancy Sher, New York State Council on the Arts; Jim 
Taylor, Community Film Workshop of Chicago; Carmen Vigil, Foun- 
dation for Art in Cinema (San Francisco); Sterling Van Waggenen, 
Utah-US Film (Salt Lake); Gail Waldron, Bay Area Video Coalition; 
Melinda Ward, Walker Art Center (Minneapolis); Rick Weise, Film- 
in-the-Cities (St. Paul); Stan Woodward, South Carolina Arts Com- 
mission; Susan Woll, Boston Film/Video Foundation; Sam Grogg 
Jr., American Film Institute; Diane Holloway, National Endowment 
for the Arts. 




Robert Haller, Pittsburgh Filmmakers, Jonas Mekas, Anthology Film 
Archives, Carmen Vigil, Foundation for Art in Cinema (S.F.). 

A formal report on the Conference is scheduled for 
publication in July, 1979 (write to FIVF for copies). For 
additional information on the Conference contact 
Robert Haller at Pittsburgh Filmmakers (412 - 681-5594). 



The Federal Artist to Premiere at 
Ford Foundation 

by Fran Piatt 

"This should be shown to every member of Congress." 
So says Howard Klein of the Rockefeller Foundation 
about The Federal Artist. This recently completed 50- 
minute color videotape documents the infancy of a 
historically and socially significant experiment in 
public service employment of artists, the CETA Artists 
Project. Local Congresspersons will be among those 
afforded an electronic glimpse of the first fruits of this 
program, at a special invitational showing of The 
Federal Artist to be held at the Ford Foundation, 320 
East 43rd Street, on Thursday, June 21 at 3 p.m. The 
screening is also open free of charge to all AIVF/FIVF 
members. 

The Federal Artist was produced by the employees of 
Media Works, a film and video program administered 
by FIVF under New York's Cultural Council Foundation 
as part of the Artists Project. Some of the creators will 
be on hand at the screening to discuss the making of 
the tape, and to educate the audience about the 
existence and purposes of Media Works. Excerpts of 
other Media Works productions, both video and film, 
will also be shown. 

It is hoped that heightened public awareness of the 
benefits of the CETA Artists Project will rescue it from 
Federal budget-slashing. Klein, in the recommendation 
quoted above, was alluding to the fact that CETA Title 
VI, the legislation under which the Project is funded, is 
currently in disfavor on Capitol Hill. An end to the 
federal arts jobs program would be tragic for the 
10,000 artists employed by it nationwide, and even 
more so for the millions who benefit from the art 
produced. 

Because of the public service emphasis of the 
program, most of these beneficiaries are people for 
whom art is usually inaccessible. They are the poor, 
the sick, the institutionalized, the incarcerated, the 
uneducated — the people whose lives most 
desperately require the uplift that art can provide. One 
of the most affecting sequences in The Federal Artist 
depicts students in the drawing and painting classes 
conducted by Marguerite Munch at the Sirovitch Senior 
Citizens Center. One student, Rose Rosenberg, calls 
Munch "very dedicated. She considers the senior 
citizens as people." 

"When you're doing your art you forget about your 
medication. . .it extended my life," claims Sam 
Bernstein, another of Munch's students. Ms. 
Rosenberg expressed the seniors' chagrin at the dis- 
continuation of the art classes: "I'm terribly 
disappointed, and I'm going to do my best to get her 
back because we all feel the same way. . .I wrote a 
letter. I'm going down to CETA, and I'll do my best and 
fight until she comes back." 

Media Works is also doing its best to serve community 
organizations, to increase the employability of artists 
as artists, and to keep the Artists Project alive and 
thriving. . Readers of the Independent can help by 
seeing The Federal Artist and by making it possible for 
others to see it. We need your suggestions, contacts, 
space, time, equipment and other contributions to 
distribute this tape. If you can help, please call 966- 
0641. 



Regional Report 

By Kathy Seltzer and Sallie Fischer 

In the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul video and film 
activity continues to grow. Many area independents are 
working through and with Film in the Cities and University 
Community Video (UCV), two of the largest media arts 
centers in the country. Both organizations are well- 
established and provide production and programming 
services to the community. 

In February UCV broadcast the Minnesota Independent Film 
and Video Festival, a week-long series highlighting the work 
of Minnesota independents, on KTCA. The program will be an 
annual event, and UCV is now seeking ways to make sure the 
producers whose work is selected will receive a more 
equitable fee. 

IN THE MIDST OF PLENTY, an hour-long documentary 
produced by Greg Pratt of UCV, was broadcast on KTCA in 
April. Although the primary responsibility for content and 
technical quality lay with UCV, the documentary was a co- 
production of UCV and KTCA because of the station's fiscal 
contribution to the project. 

In the "when will they ever learn" department: KYEL-TV in 
Arizona indicated an interest in broadcasting IN THE MIDST 
OF PLENTY. UCV responded by letter with an acquisition fee 
which took into account the size of the station. In return, 
KYEL responded with a fairly indignant letter including the 
following remarks: 

". . .1 am sorry that we cannot work out a gratis ex- 
change, my offering Public Service Time FREE, for use 
of IN THE MIDST OF PLENTY. I had planned to use the 
program in two parts on my morning farm show, and 
using two programs would place your 'air time' cost 
much higher than. . .the charge for the film. Of course 
we always pay postage and handling ..." 

Needless to say, UCV turned down this generous offer. . . 

Both University Community Video and Film In The Cities have 
been involved in helping to insure that the new cable 
television franchise which will soon be awarded in 
Minneapolis contains provisions to meet the needs of the 
community and independents. Four cable companies are now 
vying for that franchise, and it's not yet clear who will get it. 

On May 5 and 6 UCV hosted a Midwest Region conference of 
the National Federation of Local Cable Programmers. About 
50 people representing a broad range of community, artistic, 
and cable backgrounds met for workshops on such topics as 
regulation of cable and the current attempts to rewrite the 
Communications Act of 1934, programming for the 
handicapped, funding, and community outreach. The 
Minnesota State Cable Communications Board held its 
annual ceremony presenting awards for local cable programs 
during the conference as well. 

Independents are now in the process of trying to form a local 
organization to provide them with various support and 
advocacy services. A Steering Committee, which was formed 
out of the first meeting the independents held earlier this 
year, has been exploring various options for the structure of 
such an organization. It was hoped that a local chapter of 
AIVF could be formed, but AlVF's Board of Directors recently 
decided against the idea of local chapters, much to the 
dismay of the Steering Committee and the other 
independents. At this time the direction of the group in terms 
of structure remains unclear, but independents recognize the 
need to organize to insure fair treatment for themselves and 
their work and to educate the community, policy-makers, and 
others to the value and importance of their work. 




Still from Mandarin Oranges by John Brister 



S.F.S. Selection 

The Short Film Showcase screening panels have 
completed their selection of ten films for distribution 
as Round II. The film titles, and the names and home- 
towns of the filmmakers, are as follows: 

VIEWMASTER George Griffin, New York, NY 

THE DOGS Aviva Slesin & Iris Cahn, New York, NY 

MANDARIN ORANGES John Brister, Bloomington, MN 

NO BREAKS Dan Manson, Santa Monica, CA 

TEENANGEL Richard Aellen, Santa Monica, CA 

BELLANCA Greg Stiever, Hopkins, MN 

AT THE MOVIES Carl Surges, Milwaukee, Wl 

DOUBLETALK Alan Beattie, Los Angeles, CA 

FURIES Sara Petty, Venice, CA 

BANANA I Norman E. Magden, Dekalb, IL 

These were culled from a total submission of 236 
entries from 34 states. 

The intermediate group from which the 10 films were 
selected contained submissions from 44 filmmakers. 
Members who wish to apply to the Short Film 
Showcase should contact the FIVF office. Deadline for 
receipt of all films will be November 1, 1979. 

In response to a national mailing to over 3,000 ex- 
hibitors, we have been able to add almost 300 new 
theatres to our roster, which will receive a combination 
of Round I and Round II releases in the near future. 




Still from Furies by Sara Petty. Round II SFS. 



MEDIA AWARENESS 

Dee Dee Halleck 



DDDDDDnDDDnDnnDDDDDDDDDnDDDDDDDnn DaDDDDDDDaaDGDDDaDDaDDDDDDDDDDDD 



Historically, the independent media producer's 
political involvement has consisted of documenting 
the struggles and confrontations of other groups. Coal 
miners, auto workers, anti-war demonstrators, 
Plutonium victims have all had their stories told by 
committed and supportive filmmakers. There have 
been relatively few attempts by independents to direct 
their energies toward changing their own material 
position within the dominant media structures. If these 
structures were considered at all, it was to make use 
of them — garnering air-time on the news with some 
yippie-type action, or occasionally being allowed 
"access", either a one-time "airing" on PBS or perhaps 
served up smorgasbord-style with other independents 
and given a catchy, albeit patronizing title such as 
"Flick-Out". Until recently there has been no attempt 
to analyze media policies, let alone counter them. 

The activity of independents in the past two years has 
constituted something of a departure. Frustrated with 
the increasingly competitive and unresponsive 
structures of both PBS and the networks, 
independents have banded together to press their 
demands. These demands, however, are not just for 
access or more grant money. They are now addressing 
the issue of control of the system as a whole. This is a 
new fight and one that runs counter to the tradition of 
political impotence of the public in dealing with media. 

This impotence has been maintained by a pervasive 
aura of technological determinism. American media 
theory has been dominated by a Janus-headed 
romanticism: two aspects of the same basic credo, the 
omnipotence of technology. On one hand we have a 
McLuhanesque romanticism that continues to 
permeate our culture: the belief that information, per 
se, is good, and that an increasingly complex tech- 
nology always triumphs. This technological Darwinism 
is most recently evinced in Gene Youngblood's Utopian 
prognostications of a transponder future. On the other 
side, just as romantic, but in a more pessimistic vein, 
are Gerry Mander and the electronic Luddites. Back to 
nature; reality is pure; it is not to be transcribed, 
transmitted or televised. Electrons are to be exorcised 
in primal earthy rites. The saint of this sect is the San 
Diego woman who took out her gun one afternoon and 
shot her TV set. Their apostle and Sunday school 
teacher is Marie Winn, who bewails what TV does to 
children. Troops of converted parents, Winn's 
followers, have saved their families by pulling the 
plugs on their sets. 

While the woman with the gun probably has a better 
idea than McLuhan, both of these ideologies have the 
common aspect of seeing the MEDIA as all-powerful 
and something beyond our control or responsibility. In 
spite of these fatalists, there is a budding hope that 
media change is possible. The involvement of the PTA 
with Peggy Charon's Action for Children's Television is 
a grassroots movement with wide support and growing 
clout in Congress. Alliances of Blacks and Hispanics 
have challenged license renewals and have forced 
many stations to implement affirmative action 
programs. The Consumers Union and the United 
Church of Christ, through their huge constituencies, 



have applied pressure on Congress and the FCC for 
major reforms. The AFL-CIO and other labor groups 
have recently issued telecommunications policy state- 
ments, and have begun to testify on media issues in 
Congress. The legislative work of the National Task 
Force on Public Television and the Association of 
Independent Video and Filmmakers is certainly a part 
of this overall pattern of increased awareness of media 
issues, and a growing hope that well-directed pressure 
can accomplish change. 

What has been the response of the media 
establishment in the face of widespread and 
increasing public demands for media accountability? 
DEREGULATION. This is no coincidence. While it may 
not be a well-orchestrated full-fledged conspiracy, it is 
part of an overall pattern of government deregulation, 
justified by rhetorical calls for "freedom of market". 
This deregulation is coming at a time when the public 
demand for government responsibility as witnessed in 
the consumer and nuclear movements are forcing the 
federal regulatory commissions to become legitimate. 
It is no longer possible for these commissions to 
maintain their positions as handmaidens to the 
industries they were created to regulate. A post- 
Watergate vigilance has made that kind of collusion 
difficult, if not impossible. 

The challenge is getting the deregulation passed 
before this vigilant public understands its implications: 
thus the desperation of Van Deerlin to get his bill 
through this year. The longer it stalls, the greater will 
be the public opposition. If there were field hearings 
this year, there would be no chance that it could pass. 
If the public is asked about regulation versus the free 
market, what will be their response? What kind of faith 
does a Pinto driver have in the free market? Or 
someone who bought Firestone radials? Or the 
community surrounding Three Mile Island? Or anyone 
waiting in line to pay $1.00 a gallon for gas? 
Annenburg School West conducted a poll: they asked 
people if they wanted more regulation of broadcasting, 
or less. The overwhelming majority opted for MORE 
control of the media. 

Free competition does not exist in an unbalanced 
situation. Dependence on paternalistic goodwill will 
never change the situation. Independents know that 
the fact (even before any outcome) that there is an 
ACLU Network suit has had a more profound effect on 
the air than any amount of network hype about the 
"new documentary" or Congressional musings about 
"free flow of ideas". Independents know that the 
proportion specified for them in the 1979 PTV funding 
bill means dollars and cents and ultimately airtime, 
something no rhetoric about "diversity and diverse 
sources" could ensure. 

The ranks of independents are growing. The 
membership of AIVF has doubled in the last year and a 
half. Similar organizations are forming in Madison, 
Atlanta, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia and 
Minneapolis. Their demands will grow and their needs 
will be made known. They need to be nurtured, 
protected and promoted, and the current legislation is 
a recognition of that. ddddd 



>WF CLASSIFIEDS *** 



OPPORTUNITIES/GIGS/ 
APPRENTICESHIPS 

WORK WANTED: Gaffer available with 
lights and cables. Will negotiate rate 
according to budget. Josh Karan: (212) 
871-5116. 

WORK WANTED: Independent camera- 
man with 16MM crystal equipment 
looking for work. Rates negotiable 
depending on job. Jonathan Sinaiko: 
(212)925-9723. 

HELP WANTED: Editing Assistant 
wanted for B/W 16mm documentary. No 
pay. Some experience required with 
flatbed editing machine and editing 
room procedures. Call Laurence Jarvik: 
(212)749-5113. (eves.) 

HELP WANTED: Hunter Cordiay, scrip- 
writer and member of the Association 
of Independent Producers (AIP) in 
London has a 50 min. film script of a 60 
min. video treatment for which he is 
seeking production in NY. Partial 
financing could be arranged by Mr. 
Cordiay. Interested producers/directors 
can contact him at (802) 649-5948 or 
through AIP, 17/18 Great Pultney St., 
London WC1. Telephone: 01-437-3549. 

PEOPLE AND CAREERS IN TELECOM- 
MUNICATIONS (PACT): is a nationwide 
job matching system which links public 
broadcasting employers with a wide 
selection of media professionals — 
even those outside the industry. PACT 
insures that job opportunities are avail- 
able to all interested personnel 
including minorities and women for 
openings in management, production, 
graphics, writing, engineering, develop- 
ment, broadcast education, etc. At 
present PACT'S service is free of 
charge. To receive registration forms, 
Contact PACT/NAEB, 1346 Connecticut 
Ave. NW, Suite 1101, Washington, DC 
20036. (202)785-1100. 

ARTHUR MOKIN PRODUCTIONS IS 
SEEKING 16MM EDUCATIONAL 

SHORTS. We are producers and dis- 
tributors of 16mm films for the educa- 
tional and television market. Contact 
Bill Mokin at (212) 757-4868 or write: 
Arthur Mokin Productions, Inc., 17 W. 60 
St., NYC 10023. 

EXPERIENCED NEGATIVE MATCHING: 
Quick, clean cut, low prices. B/W, color, 
negative-reversal. Call: Pola Rapaport, 
(212)431-3773. 

EXPERIENCED FEATURE FILM PRO- 
DUCTION COMPANY looking for treat- 
ments/scripts suitable for low-budget 
production. We are especially 
interested in material suitable for the 
exploitation/drive-in market. (Horrors, 
youth-oriented stories.) Send with SASE 
to: The Zopix Co., 29 E. 22nd St., 10th 
FL, NYC 10010. Immediate reply. 



PART-TIME ASSISTANT WANTED: to 
work on two documentaries. Pay variable 
(low at first). Send resume to Agee Film 
Project 224 Sullivan Street, #A51, NYC, 
10012. Good learning experience on 
many aspects of production. 

THE AMERICAN FILM INSTITUTE'S 
Academy Internship Program is 
designed to enable a limited number of 
promising new directors to learn, 
professional film techniques by 
observing established directors at work 
on a major film production. Applications 
are available throughout the year from: 
AFI, 501 Doheny Road, Beverly Hills, Ca. 
90210. 

EXPERIENCED PROJECTIONIST 

WANTED: For FIVF presentations. Call 
966-0900 for details. Ask for Leslie or 
Rich. 

FUNDS/RESOURCES 

INDEPENDENT DOCUMENTARY FUND 
AT WNET's TV LAB: U.S. independent 
film and video makers who require up to 
$15,000 to complete a non-sponsored, 
non-commercial documentary are 
eligible to apply. The mandate of the 
IDF is to support new and innovative 
documentaries produced by indepen- 
dents for national public television. 
Independent work which shows a more 
personal and more provocative 
approach is encouraged. The 
documentary should have national 
appeal. 

The screening process for "Completion 
Cost" applicants will be as follows: 

1. Written proposals following the 
guideline procedure (an original 
and a copy) must arrive at the TV 
Lab by 5:00 PM July 20, 1979. 

2. An assemblage or rough-cut of 
the work in progress will have a 
preliminary screening at a media 
center near the applicant by an 
independent paired with a public 
television staff person. 

3. Projects will be evaluated on the 
basis of: 

a. Originality of the proposed 
documentary for national public 
TV as described in the written 
proposal. 

b. Ability of the documentarian as 
demonstrated by his/ 
her work-in-progress. 

c. Ability to complete the project 
by December, 31, 1979 as out- 
lined in the production schedule 
and budget. 

4. Projects selected for Advisory 
Panel consideration will be eval- 
uated at a mid-September meeting. 

5. Grants will be announced in late 
September. Awards include finish- 
ing costs plus $200/minute for the 
rights for standard public tele- 
vision broadcast. 



For more information and guideline 
brochure contact: 

The Television Laboratory at 

WNET/THIRTEEN 

356 West 58th St., N.Y., N.Y. 10019 

(212)560-3190 

THE FILM FUND, which is designed to 
help produce and distribute films on 
social issues, recently awarded 
$126,000 to 22 filmmakers. Guidelines 
for applications for the next cycle of 
grants will be sent upon request in 
October. Contact: Film Fund, 80 East 
11th Street, NYC, NY 10003. (212) 475- 
3720 or (415) 552-8830. 

PORTABLE CHANNEL, an independent 
video production center, is inviting NY 
State videomakers to apply for free 
access to video production and post- 
production equipment. Contact: Portable 
Channel, 1255 University Ave., Rochester, 
NY 14607. (716)244-1259. 

COURSES/CONFERENCES 

VIDEO ART PRODUCTION WORKSHOP: 
Offering an apprenticeship experience 
in color studio production under the 
direction of Ed Emshwiller. Contact: 
Inter-Media Art Center, 253 Bayville 
Ave., Bayville, N.Y. 11709. (516) 628- 
8585. 

FILM/TV PROBLEMS TO BE REVIEWED 
AT YF/VA SEMINAR: Entertainment 
industry attorney Michael F. Mayer will 
be offering a review and practical 
approach to business and legal 
problems confronting film & television 
producers during a series of legal 
seminars beginning in June at YF/VA in 
NYC. Contact: Young Filmakers/Video 
Arts, (212)673-9361. 

NATIONAL FEDERATION OF LOCAL 
CABLE PROGRAMMERS SECOND 
ANNUAL CONVENTION: June 28-July 1, 
hosted by Austin (Texas) Community 
Television. Workshops, seminars and 
panel discussions. Contact: NFLC: 
Convention, ACTV, Box 1076, Austin TX 
78767. (512)477-6158. 

ASTORIA STUDIOS PRESENTING 
MASTER LECTURE SERIES: The Astoria 
Studios' first major educational 
program, a Master Lecture Series, is set 
to begin in June with directors Sidney 
Lumet and John Avildsen, film editor 
Ralph Rosenblum and cinematographer 
Sol Negrin launching this pilot series. 
The Master Lecture Series will give 
media students and educators, young 
filmmakers and industry professionals 
the opportunity to have direct contact 
with artists and craftsmen involved in 
the New York motion picture and 
television industry. A second phase of 
the Master Lecture series will take 
place in the fall with 12 sessions 
exploring the crafts that work behind 
the scenes to make a movie. Contact: 
Roger Midgett, Department of 
Education, Astoria Motion Picture and 
Television Center Foundation, 35-11 
35th Ave., Astoria, NY 11106. (212) 784- 
4520. 



3RD ANNUAL SUMMER FILM 
INSTITUTE: "Introduction to Film- 
making"; July 8-21, 1979, Univ. of 
Southern Maine, Portland, ME. A 20- 
week intensive course will give the 
student background in Film History and 
Film Theory. Film will be presented in 
its context as a visual art, with lectures 
in basic design, color, shape, form and 
composition. Contact: Maine Film 
Alliance, Box 4320, Station A, Portland, 
ME 04101. 

GRANT WRITING WORKSHOPS: 
Congressman Fred Richmond is 
sponsoring three Grant Writing 
Workshops throughout his district this 
Spring. Workshops are free. Advance 
registration is required. To register call 
(212)522-3165. 

NATIONAL FILMMAKERS TO MEET IN 
SAN DIEGO: Information Film 
Producers of America (IFPA), plans its 
20th Annual National Conference and 
Trade Show September 19-23 at the 
Town and Country Hotel in San Diego. 
The IFPA National Conference will 
feature discussions led by experts in 
virtually every field of technical or 
managerial interest to media producers. 
CONTACT: Neal Nordlinger, National 
Headquarters, Information Film 

Producers of America, 750 E. Colorado 
Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91101. (213) 795- 
i7866. 

AFI FILM AND HUMANITIES SUMMER 
INSTITUTE: The AFI is offering a 
special 1-week summer institute for 
humanities educators who teach film. 
The program will consist of a series of 
seminars on screenwriting, direction, 
cinematography, production manage- 
ment, distribution, exhibition and 
other facets of filmmaking. The 
deadline for applications is June 30. For 
application forms, contact: Film and 
Humanities Summer Institute, The 
American Film Institute, National 
Education Services, J.F. Kennedy 
Center, Washington, D.C. 20566. (202) 
828-4080. 

PREPARING FOR BROADCAST: a work- 
shop being offered by the Synapse 
Video Center will be held July 26-28, 
and is open to any video or filmmaker 
interested in post-producing for 
broadcast and major distribution. Cost: 
$100.00 (includes single housing). Send 
name, address, telephone and resume 
to: Darrell Westlake, Synapse, 103 
College PI., Syracuse, NY 13210. 
Deadline for applications: July 13, 1979. 

PUBLICATIONS 

VOLUNTEER LAWYERS FOR THE 
ARTS: is offering three new publica- 
tions — "What Every Artist Should 
Know About Copyright", "A Tax Guide 
for Artists and Arts Organizations", 
"Fear of Filing — 1979 Revision". For 
more info, contact: VLA, 36 West 44th 
St., Suite 1110, NYC, NY 10036. (212) 
575-1150. 



IN FOCUS: A GUIDE TO USING FILMS: 
presents strategies for effectively using 
and promoting films; also a guide for 
successful screenings and more. 
Contact: Cine Information, PO BOX 449, 
Planetarium Station, NYC, NY 10024. 

THE COMPLETE INTERNATIONAL- 
DIRECTORY OF CONTESTS, FESTIVALS 
AND GRANTS: In Film, TV, Radio, 
Photography, Writing and Journal- 
ism. By Alan Gadney. Send check or 
money order for $15.95 plus $1.50 
(postage/handling) to: Festival Publi- 
cations, Dept. F-2, POB 10180, Glendale, 
CA 91209. 

HOW TO GET GRANTS TO MAKE 
FILMS: A Guide To Media Grants in 
Film, Video, etc. By Steve Penney. Send 
$14.95 plus $1.00 (postage) to: Film 
Grants Guide, POB 1138, Santa Barbara, 
CA 93102. 

THE INDEPENDENT FILM/VIDEO GUIDE: 
A new quarterly publication for film 
users to help locate the best and 
most interesting independent films/ 
videotapes exhibited by New York 
showcases. Contact: EFLA, 43 West 
61st St., NYC, NY 10023. 

PRACTICAL VIDEO: The Manager's 
Guide to Applications, contains the 
accumulated experiences, good and 
bad, of hundreds of video producers. 
Contact: Knowledge Industry Pub- 
lications, 2 Corporate Park Drive, 
White Plains, NY 10604. 



TRIMS & GLITCHES 

CHAMBA NOTES, a Pan African film 
newsletter, is published quarterly for 
educators, students, filmmakers and 
programmers. It highlights international 
releases, publications, funding sources, 
and interviews with minority filmmakers. 
Subscriptions are $3/students, $5/indi- 
viduals, and $10/institutions. Write to 
Chamba Notes, Box U, Brooklyn, NY 
11202. 

BLACK FILM INSTITUTE at the 
University of the District of Columbia is 
presenting its 3rd Annual Summer black 
film and lecture series featuring works 
by Ousmane Sembene, David Koff, 
Barbet Schroeder, Ronald Gray and 
others. All programs are free and open 
to the public. Contact: Black Film 
Institute, Univ. of D.C, Library and 
Media Services, 425 2nd St., N.W., 
Washington, D.C. 20001. (202) 727-2396. 

TRANSFERS AND MIXING FACILITIES: 
Young Filmakers/Video Arts has 
installed a new 8-track console in its 
low-cost sound mixing facility. In addi- 
tion to this new console, two channels 
of parametric equalization and two 
channels of limiting/compression capa- 
bility have been activated. The same 
rates still apply for eligible filmmakers 
needing transfers and mixes. $15.00 per 



hour still buys 16mm dubbers for 
mixing edited sound tracks. Transfers 
between cassette & 1/4-inch tapes, 
phonograph, and 16mm full-coat cost 
$5.00 per hour. These services can be 
scheduled by calling Nancy Meshkoff at 
(212)673-9361. 

BUY/RENT/SELL 

WANTED TO BUY: Beaulieu or Bolex 
with good lens. Please call (212) 874- 
7255. 

FOR RENT: PRODUCTION VAN/RECRE- 
ATIONAL VEHICLE — Go on location 
with your crew and equipment with the 
convenience of a kitchen, dining area 
and lavatory facilities: three beds, 
refrigerator, AC/DC TV and sound 
system, cabinet space for equipment, 
wardrobe racks, dressing and make-up 
area. (Get a better deal on a package of 
van/driver-crew-film and video equip- 
ment.) For booking and information 
please call Ami Ron at (212) 683-8732 or 
582-7890. 

FOR RENT: 6-plate flatbed Moviola to 
rent for July and August 1979. Bargain 
rates. Call Carol Stein or Susan 
Wittenberg at (603) 924-3886. 

FOR RENT: Editing and post-production 
facilities available. Fully equipped 
rooms, 24-hour access in security 
building. 6-plate Steenbeck, 6-plate 
Moviola flatbed, sound transfers from 
1/4" to 16mm mag, narration recording, 
sound effects library, interlockscreening 
room available. Contact: Cinetudes Film 
Productions, 377 Bway., NYC 10013. 
(212)966-4600. 

FOR SALE: Bolex reflex, Switar 16mm 
lens — $400. ALSO: Bolex H-16 and lens 
— $80. Write: NY Filmmakers Work- 
shop, POB 40, NYC, 10038. 

FOR SALE: 16mm 6-plate Honeywell 
Showchron optical and mag heads. Like 
new: $7500. Contact North American 
Cinema, (415) 673-6023, extension 119. 
FOR SALE: (2) CP16RZ w/amp, Orient. 
Finder, Ang. 12-120, PLC4 Mags, Loaded 
with extras. Must sacrifice, first offer, 
one or both. O'Connor, Miller tripods. 
Sony 1610 Video camera & JVC 3800, 
(212)486-9020. 

FOR RENT: Complete editing and 
sound transfer services available. Call 
(212)486-9020. 

FOR SALE: General Camera SS-III 
Frezzolini conversion. Auricon drive, 
crystal sync, power-pack, 2 batteries 
and chargers, 2 Mitchell mags, body 
pod, alum, case, 9.5-95 zoom reflex, 
single-system amplifier and recording 
head. $4200.00. Call Jon (212) 925-9723. 



CORRECTION: In the May issue of 
the Independent, the name Brad 
Dillon should have read Brad 
Swift, who served on FIVF's 
screening panel of CETA Media 
Works applicants. 



AIVF/FIVF 

99 Prince Street 
New York, NY 10012 



fesNi/als 



4TH ANNUAL CHICANO FILM FESTIVAL: Aug. 24-25, San 
Antonio, TX. The objective of San Antonio CineFestival is to 
recognize and promote the art of film and video making 
within the Hispanic community in the U.S. Acceptable 
formats are: 35mm, 16mm, 3/4", 1/2". Entries may be in any 
language and must be received by July 15, 1979. No entry fee. 
For entry forms contact: San Antonio CineFestival, Oblate 
College for the Southwest, 285 Oblate Drive, San Antonio, TX 
78216. 

24TH CORK FILM FESTIVAL: (Ireland) June 23-30, 1979; is a 
competition to promote popular interest in the short film. 
Acceptable formats: 16mm/35mm; required length: under 60 
min. For entry forms and deadline info contact: Ted Smyth, 
Consulate General of Ireland, (212) 245-1010. (Entry forms also 
available at AIVF.) 

HOMETOWN USA is a national "homegrown" video and film 
competition and festival sponsored by the National 
Federation of Local Cable Programmers (NFLCP). 1979 
entries will be judged at the Madison Community Access 
Center on June 22-24, announced and screened at the NFLCP 
Second Annual Convention in Austin, TX, on June 28-July 1, 
and then distributed by the NFLCP's network. Any public 
access programmer, school, community organization, library, 
museum, or public broadcaster may become a host site for 
this years tour by contacting HOMETOWN U.S.A. c/o 
Madison Community Access Center (MCAC), 1024 Regent 
Street, Madison, Wl, 53715. Entries selected for the festival 
and tour will be judged on the basis of subject matter, 
technique, technical quality, and how well they represent a 
cross-section of materials received. Format: competition is 
open to all video programmers and filmmakers working in 
1/2", 3/4" videotape and Super 8 film formats. All entries must 



be submitted on 1/2" reel to reel or 3/4" cassette videotape. 
For an official entry form contact AIVF or Margie Nicholson, 
HOMETOWN U.S.A. Coordinator, at (608) 222-7317. 

PRESERVATION: The National Trust for Historic Preservation 
is sponsoring the 6th National Film and Video Competition, 
"Preserving the Historic Environment," for the purpose of 
"encouraging productions that visually interpret perservation 
of the built environment in the United States." All films must 
be 16mm and have optical or magnetic tracks if sound is 
used. Videotapes must be 3/4 inch cassettes. Six $1,000 
prizes will be awarded. Productions must have been 
completed since January 1978. Contact Audiovisual 
Collections, National Trust for Historic Preservation, 740-48 
Jackson PL, NW, Washington, D.C. 20006. 

SEATTLE CENTER & THE SEATTLE ARTS COMMISSION wish 
to announce screenings for the 4th Annual Bumpershoot Film 
Festival, to be held Aug. 31-Sept. 3. All recent independently 
produced 16mm films are eligible. No entry fee; films should 
be accompanied by return postage and insurance. Films 
selected by jury will receive honoraria of $2.00 per minute. 
July 1 deadline. Contact: Joe Vinikow, Dir., Bumpershoot Film 
Festival, Suite 105, Seattle Center House, 305 Harrison St., 
Seattle WA 98109. (206) 625-5050. 

VIDEO FESTIVAL/ENERGY SYMPOSIUM: sponsored by the 
Columbia-Greene Community College will be held in upstate 
New York, October 26-27. Documentary, drama, animation and 
other forms are welcome on either 1/2" or 3/4". Entry, 
deadline: October 1. Contact: Tobe Carey, Festival Dir., 
Columbia-Greene Commty. College, Box 1000, Hudson, NY 
12534. 




indepen dent 



OCTOBER H979 





a pufcjlicatiorf 



the 



I Independent: 



October 79 



THE INDEPENDENT is published 10 times yearly by the 
Foundation for Independent Video and Film, Inc., 99 Prince 
St., NY, NY 10012, with support from the New York State 
Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts, 
a federal agency. Subscription is included in membership to 
the organization. 

Publisher: Alan Jacobs 

Editor: Bill Jones 

Associate Editor: Rich Berkowitz 

Contributing Editors: Mitchell W. Block 
Dee Dee Halleck 
Sol Rubin 
Frances Piatt 

Layout & Design: Bill Jones 

Typesetting: Josephine Coppa, Compositype Studio 



The viewpoints expressed herein do not necessarily reflect 
the opinion of the Board of Directors — they are as diversified 
as our member and staff contributors. 

We welcome your response in the form of letters, reviews, 
articles or suggestions. As time and space are of the essence 
we can't guarantee publication. Please send your material to: 
THE INDEPENDENT, 99 Prince St., NY, NY 10012. If you'd like 
your material returned to you please enclose a self-addressed 
stamped envelope. 

NOTE: All submissions to newsletter due by the 15th of 
month preceding publication, preferrably earlier. 




BUSINESS by Mitchell W. Block 4 

PROFILE, Mark Rappaport Interviewed ..........3 

MEDIA AWARENESS by John Rice |Q 

A HISTORY OF NEGLECT 13 

by Jesus Salvador Trevino and Jose Luis Ruiz 

FESTIVALS |6 

CRUISING by Rich Berkowitz yj 

FILM CLINIC by Sol Rubin ( g 

THE COLUMN by Rich Berkowitz 

COVER: Impostors, 
Mark Rappaport. 



Dear Editor, 

While I like to think I'm as appreciative of a clever phrase as 
the next person (if not more so), Dee Dee Halleck's reference 
(the Independent, Summer Issue, 1979) to "Gerry Mander 
and the electronic Luddites" as a prime cause of "the 
political impotence of the public in dealing with the media", 
is really stretching history and languge to obscure the point 
of her article (Media Awareness — The Independent, Summer 
1979). Mander's book, Four Arguments for the Elimination 
of Television , in spite of its flaws, does present a great deal 
of information that I haven't seen elsewhere, and it 
deserves to be taken seriously, particularly by individuals 
in the broadcast media. But I'll let him fight his own 
battles. 

The much-maligned weavers of 19th century Nottingham, 
however, are another matter, since they have passed (for 
the most part) anonymously into history. The Luddites 
were not, as Ms. Halleck implies, simple back-to- nature 
idealists, but workers attempting to protect themselves 
from capitalist greed. They did not fight technology per se 
— power looms were already a fixture in England at the 
time — but faced with new machines that would further 
depress their low wages in a glutted market, they took 
what we might today call "direct action": they formed 
organized bands and broke the looms. The popularity of 
our political party shouldn't justify irresponsibility. 



As for Ms. Halleck's more general discussion of television, 
I'm probably more of a "Sunday school teacher" than 
Marie Winn author of The Plug-In Drug, and another cause 
of our political malaise. I wish I could say that my 
children's on-going relationship with the familiar figures of 
Sesame Street and Happy Days have enriched their lives, 
but I can't. In fact, if pressed, I probably couldn't come up 
with a single program or series that has made a positive 
difference in their lives, and while I applaud the actions of 
A.C.T. and other grass roots organizations working to 
elevate TV content, I am one of those reactionaries who feel 
that as far as tv for children is concerned, less is more. 
And I sincerely doubt whether the few people who take to 
shooting their tv sets that Ms. Halleck refers to, are 
seriously handicapping the struggle of independent film- 
makers "toward changing their own material position 
within the dominant media structures". 

The problem of the role of "independent" filmmakers and 
producers in our society goes deeper than the question of 
nay-saying critics, public apathy, or de-regulation. It's reall 
a question of independence from what, and independence 
for what. While the independent media producer's political 
involvement may have "consisted of documenting the 
struggles and confrontations of other groups", it is not 
surprising to find filmmakers looking out for their own 
interests in the neo-conservative late 70's 



Political involvement is more than documenting other 
people's struggles, or looking out for one's own interests, 
and it is particularly dangerous for filmmakers, given the 
class and racial composition of the media (independent and 
other) to think that those interests coincide with those of 
the public. A truly independent film movement would have 
to engage the racism and class bias that afflict the media, 
and other institutions of power in this country. And when 
you're working in the kitchen, it's important to know 
whether you're using a bigger cake pan, or changing the 
recipe. 

Sincerely, 



Eric Breitbart 
Brooklyn, NY 



This series was one of the only forums where entire works 
were presented, without editing, commentary or extraneous 
material. It is to WNET's credit that they have decided to con- 
tinue the series. This year Marc Weiss was hired to direct the 
series. Marc, in turn, asked that he be able to delegate a panel 
of independents to select work to be shown. The fact that 
WNET agreed to this procedure may bring them a few more 
hassles, but should garner a lot of respect in the independent 
community. It is a step in the right direction when a local sta- 
tion forms a peer panel to decide acquisitions for broadcast. 
This is a new prospect, and one that deserves our support and 
commendation. 

However, the proposed structure is not without its problems, 
some of which are delineated in the following letter. 



Dear Editor: 

I received the recent issue of The Independent and found it 
extremely interesting and informative. It presents a very 
interesting combination of information and most of it I had 
not read elsewhere. 

I look forward to your forthcoming issues. 

Sincerely, 

George Stevens, Jr. 
GS/kk 



The Telecommunications Funding Bill of 1978 is now in ef- 
fect. It was the intention of Congress for significant amounts 
of programming funds to go to independents. On the federal 
level it was so legislated. At the station level, certainly the in- 
tention and pressure is there also. Hopefully in the coming 
year we will begin to see some imaginative ways tried to end 
what has been, with few exceptions, a record of neglect and 
waste. 

For many weeks last year I worked with several groups of pro- 
ducers to try to devise a fail-proof method by which indepen- 
dent productions could be chosen, financed, acquired and 
broadcast. Many plans were proposed and none could find 
unanimous consent among the independents surveyed. At 
first I was quite concerned about the need to present a 
"united front". But at this point I think a "sure-fire" method 
just doesn't exist, just as a totally united independent front 
doesn't exist. In fact, it is somewhat of a contradiction in 
terms. We all work in varying styles and with varying subjects. 
Our work should be considered and broadcast with the same 
variety and imagination as we muster for our work. Various 
ways of selection, organization, distribution and promotion 
should be tried. The neglect and failures of the past cannot be 
remedied in one fell swoop. However, the design and im- 
plementation of any of these processes will only be successful 
to the extent to which members of the independent communi- 
ty are part of the creation of those forms. At CPB, PBS and the 
station levels, independents should be part of the revision 
process. 



One of the forums that has emerged in response to 
pressures in New York is Independent Focus at WNET. 



the 



Dear Mr. Iselin, 

Marc Weiss recently asked me whether I would be available 
to serve as a member of the screening panel for 
Independent Focus. I have tremendous respect for Marc 
and his attempts to democratize the selection process for 
such programs. Opening this procedure to peer panel 
review has been something I have lobbied and fought for 
both as an individual and in my past role as president of 
AIVF. 

However, I have some reservations about the current 
project which I would like to share with you and the 
independent community. 

1. There is no projected budget for promotion of this 
project. The fact that Independent Focus has received 
adequate ratings in the past without promotion is no 
excuse not to give it a good push. It has been the 
contention of the independent community and many of the 
critical TV press that our work could generate high 
audience involvement. We need to have adequate promotion 
to see what those possibilities are. 

2. The pay of $35 per minute for independent work on the 
largest PTV station in the US is an outrage. WNET has the 
highest budget of any television station in the city 
(commercial included). Channel 13 should be willing to 
support the local creative community with fair 
compensation. What ever happened to the $50.00 figure 
mentioned in your letter concerning independents printed 
in the New York Times? 

3. The total pay of $150 for the members of the panel is 
an insult to the kind of experience that is being called for. 
Peer panel members should not be expected to subsidize 
this administrative process. Panel members will give many 
working days not only to screenings, but to procedural 
meetings and follow-through. They must take time out 
from busy professional schedules to work long intensive 
days. As a panelist several times in the past I can attest to 
the gruelling demands involved. Panelists should be 
considered as professional consultants and be paid what 
the going rate at WNET is in other areas of administrative 
or production activity. 

These problems must be faced if the independent creative 
media community is to work in constructive program 
development in public television. 

I decline. DeeDee Halleck, Independent Filmmaker 



BUSIIMES 



By Mitchell W. Block 



"FILM FESTIVALS — PICKING AND CHOOSING" 



There are now literally hundreds of film/video (hereafter 
referred to as "Film") festivals in the United States. In- 
dependent filmmakers have a lot to gain and/or lose by 
participating in them. The problem is not how to enter 
film festivals, but rather selecting festivals to enter. 

Film Festivals provide many services to filmmakers. 
These services include: Showing films to individuals or 
groups that might buy copies. Awarding you cash or 
other kinds of prizes that help careers. Helping to 
market films to traditional distributors. Getting films 
reviewed in a paper where some reader might find out 
about it and offer the filmmaker a job. Festivals also do 
other things. These include in some cases: Paying all 
concerned salaries out of entry fees, losing films, ripp- 
ing you off. Most festivals are good. Entry fees and 
cash awards should be just part of your evaluation. 
Some expensive festivals that give no cash awards are 
expensive because of the judging process and the cost 
of renting screening facilities. Other expensive 
festivals are expensive because they are one of the few 
ways the sponsoring organization can fund itself. Your 
problem is to decide if you want to underwrite that 
organization — or what are they giving you in return? 

For documentary short and feature makers there are 
only a few ways to qualify for the Academy Award com- 
petition (the film festival Hollywood runs). 35mm 
documentaries qualify almost automatically. With a 
16mm documentary you are faced with two choices: 
blowing-up to 35mm or entering another film festival to 
get it. (All Academy information is drawn from the 52nd 
Awards Rules.) Films must win "best-in-category 
award" in "competitive international film festivals" or 
be shown in a recognized "non-competitive interna- 
tional film festival". The International Federation of 
Film Producers Association (IFFPA) and the Academy 
recognize only THESE American festivals (When in 
doubt with the Academy it is best to call them.): 

Los Angeles International Film Festival (FILMEX), Los 
Angeles, Calif. (March, 1979) New York Film Festival, 
New York City, N.Y. (Sept. -Oct. 1979) 
San Francisco International Film Festival, San Fran- 
cisco, Calif. (Oct. 1979) 

That's it! Only three festivals in the United States 
qualify your documentary film for the Academy Awards 
Competition. Perhaps the Academy and IFFPA know 
something about festivals? What do these festivals 
have in common? 

1. All three are recognized by IFFPA. 

2. All charge small or no entry fees. (Return Postage) 

3. All run longer than a few days. FILMEX is the largest, 
San Francisco offers some awards, New York shows 
the fewest films. 



4. All have large publically acknowledged screening 
committees, some members of which are known inter- 
nationally for their work as filmmakers, journalists, 
writers, etc. 

5. All of these festivals make some efforts to get the in- 
dependent films reviewed. They all are local or national 
media events. 

What about ALL of the other festivals? What do they 
offer? what do they charge? How can you spot rip-offs? 

Rather than trying to list ALL of the "good" festivals, I 
propose to list some of the general guidelines. (By way 
of examples, I will mention some festivals but in no way 
is this listing intended to be complete.) 
CINE note: CINE provides an interesting service to 
independents. They "enter" films into various foreign 
festivals as "official" U.S. entries. This festival awards 
a large number of outstanding films "Gold Eagles" and 
these are the films they send to the foreign festivals. (I 
have served on a pre-screening jury for CINE and of the 
14 films in our category, two were sent on to the final 
jury. We were required to see the entire film, and write 
comments when we rejected a film. The jury was made 
up of five other film professionals.) Of course, the film 
maker must pay a fee to CINE each time it enters the 
film in to a competition. So the CINE award really is a 
prize that permits you to enter other festivals to win 
prizes. (A "Gold Eagle" Documentary is qualified to 
enter the Academy Awards competition.) CINE discrimi- 
nates against "student" films by not permitting them to 
compete for the "Gold Eagle". They charge students a 
smaller entry fee, $15 versus $50 or $75. This quirk 
seems odd (and self-protective) for an organization that 
is (from the CINE brochure information)" . . . searching 
throughout the nation for outstanding films." 
2. Judging — Who does it? How does it work? Most 
festivals that award prizes have clear judging and film 
selection processes for judging. (If your film is never 
screened for the final judges, you can't win the prize!) 
Festivals should have clear judging processes. Film- 
makers have a right to know who saw the film, how they 
responded and know if their film is in the running for 
prizes. Festivals that fail to provide this kind of informa- 
tion should be avoided. Festivals that have only one 
judge to award prizes or to select films are best avoid- 
ed. (If you know and trust the judgment of the juror, 
perhaps it might make sense to enter.) For example, the 
short film competition/screening process of the USA 
Film Festival in Dallas is run by a distributor-juror. Last 
year from over 400 entries s/he selected 11 films to run 
in the festival. Six of the eleven films are distributed by 
this person's company. The festival director in a letter 
to me about this commented, ". . .(this persons) integri- 
ty is beyond question." Festivals such as the Bellevue, 



Virgin Islands (now Houston), and others that have one 
judge or thousands of entries can only give so much at- 
tention to each film. CINE and the American Film 
Festival (run by E.F.L.A.) have elaborate national judg- 
ing processes that take months and all finalist films are 
screened by a second panel. If there are possible 
conflicts-of-interest, such as distributors on panels, 
this should be pointed out in the entry material (which 
the U.S.A. Festival does). Clearly the selection of films 
should be done by more than one person. 

Festivals that award cash prizes, charge entry fees that 
are reasonable, have clear responsible judging pro- 
cesses and try to get the filmmaker's work reviewed 



around. It would seem that the time has come for in- 
dependents to avoid the others. 

£ MWB All rights reserved. 
Bibliography: 

Gatney, Alan; Guide to Festivals and Grants, Festival 
Publications, Glendale, Calif., 1978 

Trojan, Judith & Covert, Nadine; 16mm Distribution, 
Educational Film Library Association, New York 
City, N.Y., 1977 (Good festival listing in appendix) 

Filmmaker's Newsletter, Monthly publication that 
tends to keep up with festivals. 



Table One: SELECTED LISTING OF FESTIVALS: Entry Fees, Prizes, Audiences 
Entry fees when noted are based on running time in minutes. 

Fees 
New York, Filmex, San Francisco None 



Academy Award Competition 



American Film Festival 



Ann Arbor 

Athens International 
(Ohio) 

Baltimore 
Bellevue 

Birmingham Educational 

Chicago International 

CINDY Competition 

CINE 

Columbus Film Festival 

Houston International 
(Festival of the Americas) 

Kenyon 
Marin County 

Midwest Film Conference 
New York Filmmakers Expo 
Sinking Creek Film Festival 



None 



to 11 min $40, 12-25 min $55, 
26-49 min $80, 49 min or more $110 



$14 



to 10 min $10, 10-29 min $30, 

30-44 min $40, 45-59 min $50, 60 min 

or more $100 

to 25 min $10, longer than 25 min $25 



$20 

to 12 min $50, 12-25 min $60, 
26-47 min $70, Features $85 

for members $50 non-members $70 

to 15 min $50, 15-29 min $75, Others $75 

to 12 min $40, 13-25 min $55, 
26-49 min $75, Others $100 

Shorts $50, Features $100 



$5 

$10 

to 30 min $10, Over 30 min $15 



No Fee from Filmmaker, 
$30 from Distributor 



Notes 

Qualify for "Oscar" 
International Coverage 

No cash award, "Oscar" 
International Coverage, 
winning generally helps career 

Key educational film festival. 
Winners well promoted non- 
theatrically, Involved judging. 
Tour of winning films. 

Cash Prizes, tour of winning 
winning films that generates 
more income to film maker. 

No cash prizes to filmmakers 



Cash prizes to filmmakers 

Large cash awards. 
Sometimes only one juror 

No cash prizes. Educational 
festival 

No cash prizes, awards 
"HUGOS" Large 
"International" type festival 

Large Industrial Type 
Competition 

See Large Note on "CINE" 

No cash prizes. Educational 
film festival. 

No cash prizes. Very large 
international film festival/ 
market. 

Cash prizes 

Cash prizes. Excellent jury 
system. 

Excellent educational festival 

Cash prizes. 

Well run festival with excellent 
jury system. Cash prizes. 




Impostors, Mark Rappaport 



MARK RAPPAPORT 
INTERVIEWED 

by Alan Jacobs and Bill Jones 



Mark Rappaport has made five feature films. They are: Mozart 
in Love - 7975, 100 minutes; Casual Relations -■ 1973, SO 
minutes; Local Color - 1977, 116 minutes; The Scenic Route - 
1978, 76 minutes; Impostors - 1979, two hours. 

Impostors, his most recent film, revolves around two psycho- 
paths, Chuckie and Mickie, impersonating twin magicians 
who run a vaudeville-styled magic act. Their assistant, Tina, is 
the center of a second interwoven plot, a love story with Peter, 
a young man who first sees her in the theater. All the 
mysterious plots and subplots are connected by a much 
talked about but never found Egyptian treasure. 

Mark Rappaport was interviewed at his loft by Alan Jacobs 
and Bill Jones. The following is an edited transcription of that 
interview. 



AJ: You began as an editor of documentaries. 

MR: Yeah, It was fun but eventually fruitless. The 
most exciting part was looking at the rushes. Then you 
spend four months editing and it wasn't as exciting as 
the rushes. But editing documentaries is great work for 
an editor. You find the film in the editing. 



BJ: But it's real limited as to what you can finally do. 

MR: Yeah, because you're at the mercy of footage. 
Half the time I felt like I was saving someone's ass. I 
decided about a year and a half ago that I had to make 
the leap. Either I was going to commit myself totally 
and make more movies, devote myself full time . . . 

AJ: What about distribution of your features? How do 
you deal with that? 

MR: I have a distributor for my last two films but they 
don't do anything. They seem to discourage people who 
call up to rent my films. Alternate patterns of distribu- 
tion have to be found. There are audiences out there. 
They're not audiences that could support a film like say 
The Exorcist but there are smaller . . . more specialized 
houses, like you would find them in dark pockets, cells 
of two or three in every city. But I think there are better 
ways to distribute films than in ghettoized situations 
like museums and universities. I can't do it single- 
handedly but I think work is being done, for example in 
Media Centers across the country. One thing that 
gratifies me a lot is that young people, film students, 
like my films. I think it shows there's an audience. 

BJ: What about the major distributors? 

MR: You can forget major distributors. It's all in the 
advertising where as much is spent as on the film itself, 
and it's all over in two weeks. My films take longer to 
seep in. 



BJ: Then you feel that the kind of advertising cam- 
paigns typical of commercial films couldn't work with 
your films? 

MR: Well you can fool some of the people some of the 
time, but you can't fool all of the people into telling 
their friends that this is as much fun as Animal House. 
Let's face it, it's not. People go to movies for entertain- 
ment. 

BJ: Do you think about your films in relation to that 
need? 

MR: Yes I do. 

AJ: There's a lot of talk in your films. 

MR: I like movies that talk. There's nothing wrong 
with talk. Everybody wants to do it; some people don't 
do it enough. Isn't that what Woody Allen movies are 
about? 

AJ: They're very personal movies about relationships. 

MR: They're part of a growing upper middle class who 
go to Zabars, wherever it is in Kansas City. I don't know 
why they're so popular. Why am I going on about this? 
To me they represent the enemy. Since Sleeper he's 
been the enemy. 

BJ: Could you define the enemy? 

MR: The enemy is like the Bloomingdales/brownstone 
syndrome. It comforts them while it attempts to satirize 
them. It trivializes their problems. Everything that's 
painful about life is trivialized and made into a com- 
modity. How many times are we going to see Blooming- 
dales in movies. I think these movies should be pro- 
jected on the walls of Bloomingdales while people 
shoplift or use their charge card. 

BJ: So do you respond to that? 

MR: I hope not. I would like to make my audiences un- 
comfortable. 

BJ: Yes, but do you do anything against "the enemy"? 

MR: I think my films would alienate that audience. But 
there is an undifferentiated middle. A part of that au- 
dience is my audience. I need an audience educated in 
films and books. 

BJ: What is clearly your audience and what is clearly 
Woody Allen's audience? 

MR: His audience thinks that therapy and talking 
about relationships is the most important part of life. 
That's a larger audience than mine. 

BJ: Your films don't deal with relationships? 

MR: Oh, but they do, but in a much more mysterious, 
complicated way. In Impostors Peter is at once a 
hideous schmuck and very genuine at the same time. 
He's a manipulative monster and a very pathetic 
creature at the same time. It puts the audience in a kind 
of a conflict. Mickie is a psycho but also a man who is 
torn. It's like putting audiences in a position to have to 
reevaluate at every moment. It means a lot of people 
don't get it and think it's hard and cold and cynical, but 
I don't think it is. 

AJ: But you're asking a lot of an audience. For exam- 
ple, Peter is in love, totally, with Tina but there is 



nothing in the story that helps me understand why. 

MR: I don't think you can understand those things. 
It's like in the Bergman film The Touch. You couldn't 
understand why Bibi Anderson was in love with that 
jerk. You can never understand those things. 

AJ: That's not true. 

MR: If you think the person is wonderful. If you know 
a coujDle you always wonder why she's with him or he's 
with her. What they see in each other. 

AJ: In your films you have no choice but to accept the 
relationships. You posit them as givens. In more tradi- 
tional love stories the audience develops a belief in the 
nature of their relationship. 

MR: I think that that's not often true. Very seldom is 
that successful. There are only a few movies that I 
believed that the characters really loved one another. 
Maybe half a dozen. 

BJ: So you dismiss that traditional procedure entirely 
because you believe it's very difficult to do. You seem 
to be saying it's unnecessary. 

MR: No, I think it's very necessary. I think that at the 
same time if a character says a situation is so the well 
conditioned audience believes it. 

BJ: So do you use that? 

MR: I try not to. I think if you want an explanation of 
why this man loves this woman it's beyond the realm of 
possibility. In Impostors Peter is in love with his own 
fantasy anyway. 

BJ: Impostors, though set in a contemporary time, 
hearkens back to an earlier, more verbal era. It's about 
vaudeville, slapstick, Egyptian treasure and so on. Is 
this in any way a reaction to our minimal, non-verbal 
times? 

MR: I don't like the idea of it being a reaction, but I 
have never liked naturalism. As a teenager I realized 
that movies I didn't like fell into a certain category. I 
could never understand why anybody liked The Bicycle 
Thief, or Marty. The common denominator was like 
everyone's trying to act like there's no camera around. I 
think it's condescending. I knew there was a camera 
and that the actors were being told to do things to ap- 
pear human, and wonderful and moving. I just rejected 
that relation to art at a very early age. I felt that art 
should be involved with more important issues than 
daily life, like love and myth. So big that you can't 
describe them in 25 words or less. And I felt that these 
naturalistic movies could be described in much less 
than 25 words. 

BJ: Do you think naturalistic films have influenced 
the way we live? 

MR: Yes, unfortunately, I think we are caught up in 
the anecdotal details of everyday life. Low budget film- 
making is essential to the aesthetic. It's why a lot of ex- 
teriors are missing. If it's a costume drama there are 
only a few dreary schmatas. It's not the French Revolu- 
tion. For years I thought I've got to write a movie but I 
can only have two characters. And it's true. 

AJ: But those traditional films are still a rich source 
for the work you're doing. 



MR: Yes, That's where I come from. But there are 
alternatives. I think everyone who makes traditional nar- 
rative films today is just kidding themselves. I think its 
a worn out tradition. It's so clearly a dead end that 
many filmmakers moved away from it and now they are 
running scared for cover back to traditional filmmaking. 
The explosion of French and Italian movies in the early 
60's signed the death warrant on traditional movies and 
traditional story telling. Godard almost singlehandedly 
did it. We're not innocent any more if we go back to 
traditional filmmaking. Nobody can write or make the 
upholstered movie any more. No one has the skills. 
Nobody can write dialogue like they did in the 30's. 
Those skills are obsolete for the 70;s and 80's. Nobody 
wants to hear good talk. Nobody wants rich, full 
characters. It's all innuendo and ambience and ambigui- 
ty, but put in traditional movies, but it's like they're 
doing two things at the same time. They want to make 
traditional movies but they don't have the means to do 
it. They lack the ability. 

AJ: I'm not sure it's that. It may be the courage that is 
lacking. Because you risk losing an audience that's 
been conditioned on oversimplified plots. 

MR: You mean commercials? 

AJ: Yes. I think they're afraid it won't sell. 

MR: Yes. It won't because audiences think that if two 
people talk in a movie, that is to say communicate, that 
that is funny and boring and funny, haha. And corny and 
trite and that's soap opera. 

AJ: I thought of Godard when I read your script for 
your latest film Impostors. I thought about it because 
there are very few filmmakers who make films with that 
kind of distance from their characters. There is a kind 
of distance from your characters that is almost cold in 
terms of their having no histories. They just exist there. 

MR: Oh no. It's not true in this film. I have more 
knowledge of it since I have seen the film and you've 
only read the script. But its ... you say coldness but I 
think it's more like cold heat. Under the coldness it's 
very intense and very passionate. 




Local Color, Mark Rappaport 



AJ: There is a lot of ambiguity. You can't sit back and 
think you have a perspective and ride with it. 

MR: I really hate getting from A to B to C. For me, as a 
writer and filmmaker, it's not interesting. I'd much 
rather throw a pack of cards in the air and start with 
a whole new order. Its not deliberately obscure, it's just 
the way I think. I just don't find that kind of narrative in- 
teresting. I studied literature in school but by the time I 
got to college I found the traditional novel not very in- 
teresting unless there was something else going on. 

AJ: What novels did you read? 

MR: In highschool, I read a lot of Dostoevsky, 
Tolstoy, and D. H. Lawrence. I guess, I was precocious, 
but not really. 

AJ: I see theatre so much in what you write. 

MR: I hate the theatre. 

AJ: But, it's there. 

BJ: There is the theme of the theatre directly. The 
theatre, in vaudevillian terms is the setting for Im- 
postors. 

MR: I like the idea of the theatre, but I don't like the 
theatre. Maybe in another time and place we were less 
alienated and our relationship to the theatre was closer 
and we didn't have to pay $25.00 a ticket. 

AJ: There's an extraordinary thing in Impostors in the 
dialogue — that isolates people from each other and 
from you (the audience). Language is used very dif- 
ferently. 

MR: As a weapon. 

AJ: Yes, as a weapon. So you can't ever feel comfor- 
table because you don't know who's behind the 
language. I think it is used as a form of mask. 

MR: I think it is what people do, with language, to con- 
ceal as well as reveal. On the other hand, when I have 
people say exactly what is on their minds, people say 
"Oh, soap opera," which is in fact the way people talk. 
When they are emotionally moved in crisis they have 
very specific ways of saying things. Some is regener- 
ated by films and TV and bad novels but even then the 
basis is what people actually say. If people talk about 
their feelings with no masks, the audiences feel 
superior. It's very confusing. 

AJ: Doesn't that depend on the context? 

MR: Then you have this upholstery job on the part of 
the writer or director to add the details to make the 
character . . . It's like 19th Century novels. You have to 
build up the character over time with a lot of what I 
think are false details so you have enough information 
to arrive at point Z and make it believable. I can't read a 
novel that begins with descriptions of the sky and land- 
scape. It's all extraneous. Tell me what's on your mind. 
Let's cut to the heart of it. Let's cut to the plane crash, 
to what's really important. This is one of the things I 
want to do in films. I don't want scenes of people walk- 
ing down the street. We know what that's like. We know 



8 



what it's like to go up and down in an elevator. We know 
that aspect of reality. Quite frankly I think these are 
conventions of middle class art. Conventions that make 
people comfortable. It's like mood music. I think au- 
diences shouldn't be that comfortable. 

AJ: When there are statements of feeling in the film by 
various characters . . . It's an extraordinarily sensuous 
group of people. 

MR: You mean somebody's always fucking. 

AJ: Yes. Everytime they express their feelings it has no 

context. You never see a developing relationship. 

MR: In most movies that mortar that holds the scenes 
together and appears to develop characters consists of a 
scene of someone in the kitchen. "Do you want one 
lump or two." When I see that in a movie I'm out. But it's 
those little things you think add a richness, that I think 
add a level of banality and distance from the essentials 
of what should be happening. 

AJ: But I think that's because you rely on language, 
and for me richness means another way to talk about a 
character's life and for you it's a much longer circuitous 
way. You do it with language rather than a scene in a kit- 
chen or . . . 

MR: It's also financial . . . 
AJ: In what way? 

MR: Well, when I write a script I can't have a thousand 
locations. In fact in Impostors there were too many loca- 
tions. In fact there were ten shots we cut from the film. 
That's not good in a low-budget film. It means you pay 
for two days shooting you shouldn't have which means I 
end up owing even more money at the end. (laughs) It 
should be more controlled. It would be wonderful to make 
films like Children of Paradise but I don't think there's 
any need to do that anymore. The access to those means 
is not available to low budget filmmakers. The budget 
shapes the way you think. Maybe if Godard had had ac- 
cess to large sums of money in the beginning he 
wouldn't have tried to smash conventional forms. It's im- 
possible to pinpoint where the politics of money impinge 
on aesthetics. Everybody incorporates the limitations of 
low budget filmmaking and tries to push the limitations 
rather than trying to emulate Hollywood. And if you can't 
get that production quality then you have to go for some- 
thing else and you'd better be sure of what it is because 
if there's confusion you're going to get killed. Noone's 
going to believe it. You can say no to all of that and 
utilize the restrictions. They have to serve your purpose 
rather than you being a slave to them. That's why new 
narrative films lack a kind of richness you want. Other 
new films lack a richness I miss. The richness we both 
miss has to be supplemented by a richness of the im- 
agination. 



AJ: For me the problem is broader than a lack of 
Hollywood standards. To my own tastes the script is of 
most importance. And I think there has been a lot of 
sluffing in that respect. Maybe in reaction to Hollywood 
films. It's not the narrative or the stories but the in- 
telligence of the filmmaker seen through the film. 
That's not money, that's a pencil and paper. 




Ihe Scenic Route, Mark Rappaport 

MR: That's also a skill that's been lost. We're the non- 
verbal generation. We say "Oh wow," to things instead 
of responding in a more articulate way. We talk in 
strange codes. It's the drug aftermath. 

BJ: What are the budgets for your films? 

MR: Let's see, the total for Impostors at the moment 
is $80,000. But that still leaves me holding a very big 
bag because it will cost a lot more. The Scenic Route 
was $35,000, Local Color was $30,000, Mozart in Love 
was $20,000, Casual Relation, my first film was $7,000. 
I'm not so sure I would work much differently if I had a 
lot of money. Maybe some technical stuff. But for ex- 
ample I'm deliriously happy with these actors in my last 
film (Impostors). Even if I had three million dollars I 
would use these people. 

BJ: How do you make films that cheaply? 

MR: I end up paying the price. 

AJ: You don't take a salary? 

MR: I don't take a salary. And, unfortunately, people 
seem so alienated from their work that they welcome a 
chance to work on something they feel is more mean- 
ingful and even with the low budget is more prestigious 
than commercials or industrials. I don't like asking peo- 
ple to work longer hours for less money because they 
love me. Sometimes it's a trade-off. Even that isn't how 
you make movies cheaply. Part of it is that I made my 
living as an editor for more years than I like to 
remember. Generally I don't shoot more than I need. I 
don't even cover myself with different camera angles, 
but because I'm an editor I always make it work. 



u5 



ffl HSGfiJG 




UPDATE 



This past summer A.I.V.F.'s media reform efforts have 
begun to bear fruit. The Corporation of Public Broad- 
casting has issued a "Draft Proposal" to the Indepen- 
dent community which encompasses many of the con- 
cerns A.I.V.F. has sought. (Tad Turners article 
elaborates). The Public Broadcasting Service will soon 
institute their "Red, Blue, and Green" programming 
feeds via satellite. These simultaneous program feeds 
increase the amount of potential programs stations will 
be able to air. We are now instituting discussions with 
P.B.S. in hopes of achieving an adequate representa- 
tion of "blue-ribbon" independent programming on 
each one of these colored feeds. At the local level we 
reiterate the need for our community to continue 
monitoring not only the Boards of each P.B.S. station 
but to insure that the "Community Advisory Boards" so 
mandated are made effective. This is a way of insuring 
that independents will have a voice in Public broad- 
casting decision-making. 

In the halls of Congress, T.P.C. member Ralph Arlyck 
and Board President Jane Morrison testified before the 
House Sub-committee on Communications concerning 
the proposed re-write of the Communications Act 
(HR-3333). This bill, calling for the de-regulation of the 
already overly exclusive Broadcasting industry, was a 
dangerous precedent that echoed the conservative 
mood of Congress. Our testimony rejected this call for 
de-regulation and most of the Public Broadcasting pro- 
visions including Advertising on PTV and a giveaway of 
educational distribution rights. Due to the coalition ef- 
forts of our growing community, the bill lacked consti- 
tuancy support and was scuttled. Clearly, we are mak- 
ing a difference. 

Upcoming, our Telecommunications Policy Council will 
be preparing strategy to better monitor the local sta- 
tions, and to continue to prepare serious proposals to 
C.P.B. and P.B.S. as they reorganize their bureaucracy. 
During the fall the Federal Communications Commis- 
sion will be instituting hearings concerning Public 
Broadcasting and we intend to comment on the need 
for effective regulation in that agency. Further, our 
work is bracing for the future as a work committee 
forms to decide the best use of Satellite Transponder 
access. Please help share in this work. The T.P.C. is 
open to all members of the Independent community. 
Copies of A.I.V.F. testimonies and proposals are 
available at the office. 



John Rice 



CPB REPORT 
By Tad Turner 

Corporation for Public Broadcasting's August Board 
meeting voted on resolutions that were the first formal 
responses to demands for reorganization of public tele- 
vision (Financing Act of 1978, Carnegie II, the Indepen- 
dent Lobby): increased participation by independents; 
implementation of the Minority Task Force Report; and 
greater support to promotional activities. The Corpora- 
tion's Board of Directors assembled in Washington 
D.C. for four days — the usual two-day Board meeting 
was preceded by two days of informal discussion billed 
as a "retreat". The decisions made by the Board affec- 
ting the work and interests of independents included 
the following: 

Passage of the Fleming Plan: The Board passed an 
amended version of a resolution written in June propos- 
ing an internal reorganization of CPB into a "Manage- 
ment Services Division" and a "Program Fund". 

Circulation Of A "Draft Proposal" On Independents: This 
proposal states CPB's interpretation of key terms and 
issues relating to independent production. The Board 
approved the release of this paper for discussion with 
the independent community. 

Implementation of CPB's Affirmative Action Program: 
Formal release of a May 1st, 1979 progress report is 
scheduled for September 30th. Further action was 
postponed until the next meeting. The Minority Task 
Force may not reconvene this November as planned. 

No Decision on the PBS National Ad Campaign: Deci- 
sion on approval of a $1 million dollar advertising con- 
tract with TV Guide was suspended for a month, crip- 
pling a national promotion effort for PBS's "Core" 
schedule. 

The "Fleming Plan" is a broad sketch of how CPB has 
responded to Carnegie ll's recommendation for a 
"Telecommunications Trust" (responsible for fiscal 
management for public telecommunications) and a 
totally separate and insulated "Program Services 
Endowment" (responsible for programming). The 
"Fleming Plan" calls for an internal reorganization of 
CPB, separating but not insulating programming from 
the rest of CPB's activities. Under this plan the CPB 
Board would be in a position to exert strong influence 
over programming. The Program Fund Director will use 
the present programming staff and appointed panels to 
make individual programming decisions. The Program 
Fund is experimental in nature and, after its first two 
years, it will need Board approval to be continued. 

The flight for a Program Fund has been led by CPB 
President Robben Fleming. Several older Board 
members, notably Diana Dougan and Sharon 



10 



Rockefeller, are also eager to have the Board separate 
itself from programming decisions. But many of the 
newer Board members, Geoff Cowan and Kathleen 
Nolan for example, balked at having to set in motion a 
process without first determining guidelines or goals. 

The fight for a Program Fund has been led by CPB 
President Robben Fleming. Several older Board 
members, notably Diana Dougan and Sharon 
Rockefeller, are also eager to have the Board separate 
itself from programming decisions. But many of the 
newer Board members, Geoff Cowan and Kathleen 
Nolan for example, balked at having to set in motion a 
process without first determining guidelines or goals. 

The "Fleming Plan" begins the process of splitting the 
CPB staff in two. While the staff is working on this, 
they will also be making a study of how boards, direc- 
tors and panels interrelate on various federal and state 
funding agencies (like NEA, NEH, and NYSCA). This 
study is for the use of the CPB Board members in 
writing a "charter" for the Program Fund. At the same 
time, Robben Fleming will be busy finding nominees 
for the Program Director's position. 

The key to understanding the pressing immediacy of 
the "Fleming Plan" is the CPB practice of "forward 
funding". Forward funding is made possible by Con- 
gressional appropriations made in advance; its effect is 
to allow CPB to begin to make budget commitments for 
nine months into the future. For example, upcoming 
decisions about fiscal <1981's budget will be made as 
early as January of 1980. The Board's vote that the Pro- 
gram Fund should be implemented for fiscal 1981 
necessitates that the selection of the director, the 
formulation of Program Fund guidelines, and the CPB 
staff work all be accomplished simultaneously along 
parallel tracks. The entire process will be complete in 
less than four months; important policy decisions con- 
cerning funding could be up for consideration as early 
as the end of this month. 

Robben Fleming's "Draft Proposal" on independents 
begins CPB's implementation of the Public Telecom- 
munications Financing Act of 1978. First among the 
terms and issues it presents is the definition of "inde- 
pendent producer". Far from AlVF's equation of inde- 
pendent product with independent content, CPB 
defines an independent producer as anyone not ex- 
clusively employed by or under exclusive contract with 
a public broadcast station. CPB also recognizes the 
"small independent" as someone who has had only 
limited exposure in the marketplace. 

Second, it defines how much of CPB's appropriation 
will go for independent programming. Out of the 
"significant portion" (approximately 25%) that CPB 
wishes to be available for national program finding, the 
"substantial amount" for independent producers with 
advice and counsel, especially to small independents. 

Implementation of the Minority Task Force Report 
stands in stark contrast to the action taken on the Pro- 
gram Fund and on independents. The Task Force 
recommendations are still unattended. The Board was 
relatively quiet as one of its members, Jose Rivera of 
New York City, insisted that the implementation pro- 
cess be stepped up. 



Central to Mr. Rivera's concern was the Board's resolu- 
tion last November to accept the findings of the Task 
Force. This resolution provided for a reconvention of 
the Task Force one year later (November 79) to 
evaluate CPB's progress, when it was suggested that 
Mr. Rivera chair the reconvened Task Force, he wisely 
declined, not wishing to take the heat of an angry Task 
Force. Mr. Rivera demanded that the Task Force not 
assemble merely to state the obvious — that nothing 
has been done. This suggestion was read by many of 
the older Board members as an opportunity to scuttle 
the reconvention entirely. Robben Fleming's pro- 
gressive outlook on earlier issues changed to pleas that 
little could be done in so short a time, and that the cost 
of reconvention is too much for CPB to bear. 

The subsequent Board meetings before January will 
complete the initiated work on funding and indepen- 
dent participation. The Corporation does not share 
AlVF's vision of the Program Fund. The Program Direc- 
tor will not protect the autonomous program decisions 
of a department head and peer review panels. The 
Board clearly wants the Program Director working in its 
interest. From the Board's point of view, program deci- 
sions need to be insulated from Congress, but not from 
themselves. Many of the newer Board members have 
yet to decide how they feel the Program Fund should 
work. The federal funding study is for their information. 
If independents could supplement this study with their 
own experiences and evaluations they would be doing a 
service for the whole independent community. Geoff 
Cowan, Kathleen Nolan and Michael Kelley in particular 
seem interested in making a funding system that works 
for independents. 

Independents will have a much harder time discussing 
the "Draft Proposal" with Vice President of Telecom- 
munication George Stein. An article in the September 
5th Variety certainly clued in most big Hollywood in- 
dependents. Small independents however, will have to 
hear some other way. Those interested in the paper, or 
in finding out when George Stein might be in their city, 
should contact him directly at CPB in Washington. 

George Stein 

Vice President for Telecommunication 
Corporation for Public Broadcasting 
1111 16th Street, N.W. 
Washington, D.C. 20036 

*Fleming Plan and "Draft Proposal" are both available 
on request from CPB. 



Independent producers' scheduled meeting (Oct. 16th) with 
George Stein, VP of Telecommunications and Steve Symonds, 
Assistant Dir. of Legislative Affairs to explore CPB's "Indepen- 
dent Paper", released for discussion, August 1979. The 
meeting will be at The Kitchen, 484 Broome St., New York City 
on Oct. 16 from 10:00 AM to 5 PM. 

The "Independent Paper" will be published in the forthcoming 
Air Time. Copies are also available at The Kitchen and The 
AIVF. 

If you want more information, call The Kitchen at: (212) 
925-3615 or Tad Turner at (212) 663-8882. 

11 



A HISTORY OF NEGLECT 

By Jesus Salvador Trevino and 
Jose Luis Ruiz 



There is a fundamental lack of commercial or public 
television programming which accurately addresses 
the needs, realities, culture and life experience of 
America's close to 20 million Spanish-speaking 
people.' This is a fact self-evidently revealed by the 
mere perusal of TV log listings at any city in this coun- 
try. Hispanic Americans yearly spend millions in taxes, 
part of which go to fund public television. Despite this 
fact, less than 1% of programming funded by the Cor- 
poration for Public Broadcasting over the past ten years 
has been programming specifically focusing on 
Hispanic communities in the United States. 2 This is an 
awesome, shameful fact which most Americans know 
little about. CPB's own study of its track record in so- 
called "minority" programming has condemned CPB 
policies and has called for no further funding of CPB 
until basic changes are brought about enabling 
minorities in this country to receive their tax dollar's 
worth. 3 Many minorities, and particularly Hispanic 
American independent producers, have been aware of 
CPB's neglectful attention to its minority constituency 
and any discussion of Independent Television makers 



and public communications policy remains incomplete 
without surfacing these long-standing conditions. 

Basic to understanding the concerns of Chicano, 
Puerto Rican, and other Latino producers is an ap- 
preciation of the growing role that Hispanic Americans 
will continue to play in the future of this country. The 
National population of Hispanics in the United States 
ranges from an estimated 12 million, conservatively, to 
possibly as high as the 19 million projected by the U.S. 
Census." Of these populations, 60% are of Mexican 
descent. Significantly this Mexican or Chicano popula- 
tion is a "young" population. More than 50% of 
Chicanos are under 21 years of age. 5 

It is well known that patterns of institutional 
discrimination and exclusion have resulted in a general- 
ly poor standard of living for Chicanos and other 
Spanish speaking people in the country — a situation 
marked by high unemployment, low paying jobs, poor 
housing, inadequate health care, and perhaps most im- 
portant, low educational achievement. These realities 
are expressed statistically in Table 1. 6 





TABLE 1 — HISPANIC DEMOGRAPHICS 

Hispanics 
(19 Million) 


General Population 
(220 Million) 




Median Age 


21.7 Years 

(42% under 18 yrs.) 


29.6 Years 




Unemployment Rate 
(1976) 


11% Male 
13% Female 


5.5% Male 
6.2% Female 




Median Income 


$7,050 Male 
$3,359 Female 


$9,580 Male 
$3,588 Female 




Income Below 
Poverty Line 


23% 

(27% under $7,000/yr.) 


8.1% 




Average number of 
persons per family 
(1977) 


4 persons 


3 persons 




Education 








Less than 5 years 
of schooling (1978) 


23% 


3.6% 




Drop-out Rate 
late 1960's 


80% 


N.A. 




Presently 


40% 


N.A. 




Average Schooling 


8.1 years 


12 years 





12 



Despite a history of being disadvantaged socio- 
economically, Hispanic Americans continue to grow in 
influence at the national level. The most current projec- 
tions of the U.S. Census Bureau predict that by 1985, 
Hispanic Americans will be the largest minority in the 
United States. 7 With increased attention being directed 
toward Mexico and its large oil reserves, the attendant 
and inseparable question of undocumented workers, 
and of the relationship of Mexico to Chicanos and other 
Latinos in the U.S. will doubtless continue to affect in- 
ternational and domestic politics. 

All of the foregoing have convinced Chicano media ac- 
tivists that major reforms and fundamental changes are 
needed at all levels and in all areas. Public broad- 
casting is at least one area where our tax dollars should 
be made to work for us. In the past what little program- 
ming has tried to address the Spanish speaking com- 
munities has often presented negative portrayals and 
stereotypes. It has been observed that: 

"Television reflects the social structure of society 
by selection and presentation of characters 
associated with its structural divisions. The com- 
mercial nature of the medium emphasizes adver- 
tising of products bought by those at the top of 
the social structure, and thus reinforces the 
status quo. And it does this often at the expense 
of those at the bottom through non-recognition, 
ridicule, or regulation . . . Mexican Americans and 
Oriental Americans currently occupy TV's stage 
of ridicule . . . Such characterizations vitiate the 
self-image of the minority group, while bolstering 
the dominant culture's self-image." 8 

While perhaps doing more harm to a young child's self- 
image than to an adult, it must be remembered that 
these negative television and film portrayals have been 
for many Americans a thorough part of their upbringing. 
Such effects of media portrayals are not limited to 
Chicano self-image but cross over to influence public 
opinion in the dominant society about Mexicans and 
Chicanos. 

"No matter what medium sends the message, the 
content and context of message still have impor- 
tant ramifications ... TV commercials and maga- 
zine advertisements of the type referred to sym- 
bolically reaffirm the inferior status of Mexicans 
and Mexican Americans in the eyes of the au- 
dience. Exaggerated Mexican racial and cultural 
characteristics, together with' some outright 
misconceptions concerning their way of life, sym- 
bolically suggest to the audience that such 
people are comical, lazy and thieving." 9 

Thus, far from being innocuous, negative portrayals of 
Chicanos, their past, their culture and traditions, in- 
evitably affect employer attitudes towards Mexicans 
and Chicanos. Public opinion attitudes towards legisla- 
tion affecting Chicanos, the prejudices of those people 
whose work involves day-to-day dealings with Chicanos 
(such as teachers, counselors, health workers, and 
social workers) and ultimately society's view of 
Chicanos and their views of themselves are all affected 
by how they are portrayed by mass media. 

Clearly, positive realistic portrayals of Chicanos and 



other Latinos are badly needed, but this is only one way 
in which public broadcasting can address Hispanic 
needs. Perhaps the most relevantly needed program- 
ming are programs which directly address the socio- 
economic and cultural concerns of Hispanic com- 
munities on a regular basis — national and regional 
news, public affairs and cultural affairs series and 
specials. 10 Hispanics, as do most Americans, and as 
James Day has observed, look to television not only for 
information but for entertainment as well. 11 But tele- 
vision can go beyond, to provide educational services 
for social needs as well. Information, education and 
entertainment are not mutually exclusive approaches. It 
is unfortunate that Hispanic Americans have seldom 
had a chance to see television work on their behalf 
through any of these modes. 

What is the history of public broadcasting for Hispanic 
Americans? How has the Corporation for Public Broad- 
casting endeavored to meet its obligation to program 
for the "convenience, interest and necessity" of all of 
its publics, including Hispanic Americans? 

At the national level the Corporation for Public Broad- 
casting has itself funded only one national Hispanic 
series, Realidades, (1974-1976). This public and cultural 
affairs series intended for Puerto Rican and Chicano 
audiences which was well received by Hispanic com- 
munities, has been CPB's only effort at the national 
level. While CPB has occasionally funded Hispanic 
specials, the majority of programming which attempts 
any kind of relevance to Hispanics are programs like 
Villa Alegre, Carrascolendas and Infinity Factory — 
children's programs funded by the Department of 
Health, Education and Welfare and not CPB. 

Despite the fact that by 1985 Hispanic Americans will 
be the largest ethnic majority in the United States, 
there is no Hispanic counterpart to "Black Perspective 
in the News," (the only national minority series on PBS) 
nor any Hispanic perspective at all on the national level. 

Local station response to Hispanic communities has 
been uneven at best. Many local stations have given up 
local on-going series in favor of occasional specials. 
At KCET and WNET, the major PBS stations in Los 
Angeles and New York respectively, there are no on- 
going public affairs or cultural affairs series designed 
to reach the local Hispanic communities. Yet these are 
the two cities in the United States with the largest 
numbers of Spanish speaking people! 

All told, the Public Broadcasting report card on 
Hispanic programming is very, very bad. An "F" in 
relevance to Hispanic communities nationally; and a 
"D" in Hispanic Programming locally. An "F" in funding 
and programming commensurate to the national popu- 
lation of tax-paying Hispanic Americans. 12 Public 
broadcasting also receives an "unsatisfactory" when 
regarding the courtesy due producers in and out of the 
system, and an "incomplete" when fulfilling legal 
obligations to provide access and funding for minority 
independent producers. 

This review of C.P.B. activities supplements the more 
thorough and costly study which C.P.B. commissioned 
and reported in "A Formula for Change." The 88-page 
report of the Task Force on Minorities in Public Broad- 



13 



casting is sadly only the latest of many reports, papers 
and studies. It has underscored the obvious faults and 
raised once again the questions of C.P.B. accountabili- 
ty and follow through. Once again expectations have 
raised. Perhaps C.P.B. may respond to what it spent 
$200,000 to find out — that it is doing a reprehensible 
job of programming for minorities. In the words of the 
"Formula for Change" report: 

". . .After 18 months of study and 11 years after 
the taxpayer subsidy began, the Task Force must 
conclude that the Public Broadcast system is 
asleep at the transmitter ... an appropriate 
analogy as regards to minorities in public broad- 
casting is that they are still being sent to the back 
of the bus. They are still drinking from segregated 
drinking fountains. They are still non-entities." 13 

In view of the foregoing, the questions which have sur- 
faced in other papers delivered at this Rockefeller 
Seminar on Independent Television Makers and Public 
Communications Policy appear as questions of theory 
— remote speculations in ivory towers which can have 
little relevance to 30% and more of America's viewing 
public (Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, etc.) until and unless 
the more basic question of how to thoroughly 
democratize the system is addressed. 

It is exciting to hear Dr. Dordick speak of the 
"remarkable confluence of emerging human needs for 
information and communication and the technologies 
to meet these needs," 14 is and it is challenging to think 
of the possibilities of satellite, cable, video-disk and 
other modern means of reaching audiences, but 
Hispanic Americans must ask themselves, if the pres- 
ent system ignores us, what makes us think that any 
sophistication of technologies, without our input, will 
be any more responsive to our needs? Although it has 
been legislated, although studies have recommended 
it, although C.P.B. has been chastised time and again 
for its failure to provide it, the fact remains: for 
minorities there has not been nor is there today any, 
"equitable access to information." 15 Hispanic program- 
ming has been relegated to a stone age past while 
modern advances are touted as breakthroughs for 
tomorrow. Hispanic American independents ask, what 
about today? 

James Day suggests that what the system needs is a 
good editor-in-chief who can responsibly "plan" pro- 
gram diversity. 16 While quality control will always and 
should always be a programming consideration, in- 
dependent Hispanic producers have heard the call for 
"quality control" before and know that often it is a 
pseudo-reason for rejection of their material. 

The history of funding for Hispanic projects by such 
presumably enlightened agencies as WNET's Indepen- 
dent Documentary Fund demonstrates the danger in 
relying on a central source of decision making whether 
it is a peer review panel or an individual such as Mr. Day 
suggests. While it is difficult to prove that the 
discriminatory policies at WNET are intentional, the de 
facto evidence of David Loxton's fund, peer panel 
review notwithstanding, is clear: the documentary fund 
has funded no Hispanic projects. Emmy and inter- 
national award winning Hispanic producers find it dif- 
ficult to believe that all of our proposals are of inferior 

14 



quality. We must conclude that not a small part of the 
problem is ignorance by the peer review panel members 
of Hispanic realities. This ignorance is doubtless com- 
pounded by the fact that Hispanics are not included in 
key decision making positions or on Loxton's staff. But 
if the de facto disciminatory results are due to ig- 
norance, then it is the insidious ignorance which 
Graham Greene somberly described as being, "Like a 
blind leper who's lost his bell, wandering the world, 
meaning no one any harm." 17 It is the kind of malignant 
naivete that has so often kept Hispanic independent 
producers from production funding and from access 
and which was also at work in C.P.B.'s short lived 
revolving documentary fund. What kind of diversity can 
public television expect, with or without an editor in 
chief, if minorities are systematically excluded from the 
decision making roles? 

For this reason John Reilly's suggestion that Media 
Arts centers function as the conduit for funding inde- 
pendents also raises suspicion among Hispanic in- 
dependents. How many Hispanic projects has Global 
Village funded? Is this track record the kind of access 
which Hispanic independents can expect if media 
centers are delegated as conduits for independent 
funding from C.P.B.? 

Nick De Martino and Alan Jacobs have suggested 
various forms of the "Center for Independent Tele- 
vision" recommended by the Carnegie Commission 
Report. 18 While the notion of a peer review panel made 
up of independents (Jacobs) and of a C.P.B. "ombuds- 
man" liaison with the independent producers (De 
Martino) are both reasonable and fair sounding sugges- 
tions, again they can only be helpful to Hispanic in- 
dependents if Hispanics are a part of the peer review 
panel, or have had some say in determining the 
ombudsman person or center. 

The aggregate response from the Hispanic point of 
view to these papers presented at the Rockefeller 
seminar should by now have become obvious. The 
ideas put forth are only as valid as is the extent of 
Hispanic input into them. This is the crux of the matter. 

New technologies can only be effective for minorities 
and in this case Hispanic Americans if we are a part of 
the process which determines how these technologies 
are to be used. Programming diversity can only mean 
white audience diversity unless minority people are in- 
volved in the decision making process which deter- 
mines what this "diversity" is all about. The success 
and relevance of an independent Center or Centers will 
only be as good as the involvement of minorities 
(Hispanics) in the decision making process. 

Access to the public broadcasting system for in- 
dependents, and to program funding, regardless of 
what mechanism is suggested, will continue to remain 
ineffectual unless all independents realize what minori- 
ty independents have known for some time: the 
mechanism is only boilerplate unless real access is 
assured. It is here that independents and minority in- 
dependents can converge for mutual opportunity. 

The C.P.B. funded Task Force on Minority Programming 
has laid out a detailed "Formula for Change" which, if 
thoroughly implemented, would be the first major 
breakthrough for independents into the system. It can 



pave the way for more such breakthroughs by other in- 
dependents. On the other hand, the C.P.B. report can 
also go the way of many previous reports and sit on a 
shelf or provide New Year confetti. If this happens, then 
all independents should be wary, lest C.P.B. decide to 
commission a report on the status of independents 
rather than address the substantive issues of access, 
funding and programming. 

The mandate from a Hispanic point of view is clear: All 
independents have a vested interest in promoting the 
implementation of the C.P.B. Minority Task Force 
report. While minority independent producers may 
appear to have more to gain initially, it must be 
remembered that minority independents have been the 
most disenfranchised for many years. But all indepen- 
dents stand to gain from the "Formula for Change" 
report's implementation. By pressuring C.P.B. to be 
responsive to one constituency, independents can 
create a track record of cracking the system's 
unwillingness to respond to those on the outside, and 
build working coalitions for access, diversity and fund- 
ing of all independents. "A Formula For Change" can 
truly be a formula for independent access and produc- 
tion. 



throughout the United States but particularly in the Southwest 
and Midwest. Puerto Ricans account for about 15% of 
Hispanic Americans, Cuban Americans number about 6%, and 
Chicanos about 60% of the total Hispanic population. 

5 Persons of Spanish Origin, Op. Cit. 

The statistics on Table 1 were compiled from the 7977 Per- 
sons of Spanish Origin in the United States report, Op. Cit. 

'IBID. 

""Television and Social Controls" by Cedrick C. Clark, Televi- 
sion Quarterly, Vol. 8, No. 2 (Spring, 1969), Pages 18-22. 

9 "How Advertisers Promote Racism", by Tomas Martinez, Civil 
Rights Digest, Fall, 1969. 

'"The need for this multiplicity in programming for Hispanic 
Americans has previously been documented in Tuning In On 
The Latino Audience by Joseph Aguayo, Telecommunications 
Review, July/August 1976. 

""The Television Establishment, The Independent Producer, 
and the Search For Diversity", by James Day, presented at the 
Rockefeller Conference on Independents and Public Com- 
munications Policy. 



FOOTNOTES 

'The terms "Hispanic" and "Latino" are used interchangeably 
in this article to refer to Spanish speaking persons on a 
national level. Subsumed under these terms are the ethnic sub- 
groupings of Chicanos, Mexicans, Puerto Ricans and Cuban- 
Americans. This paper primarily addresses the needs of 
Chicanos, although in large part the discriminations men- 
tioned apply also to Puerto Ricans. There were no Puerto Rican 
independent producers invited to this Rockefeller conference. 

2 As early as 1971, the authors of this paper corresponded with 
CPB and PBS management bringing to their attention the fact 
that in that year less than .01% of the total CPB national pro- 
gramming budget had gone to Hispanic programming! The 1 % 
figure takes the two years of the REALIDADES series, the only 
CPB funded national series ever produced for Hispanic com- 
munities, and compares that with total CPB programming 
dollars. 



3 The recommendations for minority programming as well as 
detailed analysis of the CPB and PBS status in regard to 
minorities is contained in the report of the Task Force on 
Minorities in Public Broadcasting entitled, "A Formula for 
Change." 



12 "A Formula For Change" recommends that, "CPB and PBS 
allocate specific funds for minority television series and other 
program development efforts. These funds should equal at 
least the percentage of minorities in the national population". 

,3 A Formula For Change", pages xiii and xiv. 

'"The Emerging Technologies and the Nation's 
Demographics", by Dr. H. S. Dordick, presented at the 
Rockefeller Seminar on Independent Television Makers and 
Public Communications Policy, June, 1978. 

t5 "The Emerging Technologies. . .", Op. Cit. 
16 "The Television Establishment. . .", Op. Cit. 
"The Ugly American, by Graham Greene. 

""The Case For A Center For Independent Television", by Nick 
De Martino and "Independent Mandate", by Alan Jacobs, both 
papers presented at the Rockefeller Seminar on Independent 
Television Makers and Public Communications Policy, June, 
1979. 



END — 



'Persons of Spanish Origin in the United States, 1977. Popula- 
tion characteristics; Series P.20, No. 329, U.S. Dept. of Com- 
merce, Bureau of the Census, September 1978. 
Also as reported in Time magazine, October 16, 1978. Cover 
story, "Hispanic Americans, It's Your Turn In The Sun". 
The 19 million figure is probably approximate; it is difficult to 
determine figures accurately because in addition to those 
cited in the 1978 U.S. Census study, there are literally un- 
counted millions who may enter into the United States "illegal- 
ly" each year. Of this total population figure, the largest single 
ethnic subgroup are Chicanos, U.S. Citizens of Mexican de- 
scent, who number about 7.2 million and are to be found 



Prepared for The Rockefeller Seminar on Independent 
Television Makers and Public Communications Policy, 
a Seminar-Conference to Promote Telecommunications 
for Diversity in the 1980's. June, 1979 

© Copyright, 1979 Jesus Salvador Trevino and Jose 
Luis Ruiz. 



15 



festivals 



UPCOMING FESTIVALS TO BE HELD: 



COLUMBIA-GREENE VIDEO FESTIVAL: Columbia-Greene 
Community College in upstate New York will sponsor a Video 
Festival and Energy Symposium October 26 and 28 at its 
Hudson-based campus. The theme of this year's Video 
Festival is energy, and videotapes which pertain to this theme 
are sought for inclusion in the festival. For more info: Toby 
Carey or Mark Anderson, Columbia-Greene Commmunity Col- 
lege, Box 1000, Hudson, New York 12534. 



14th Annual Hemisfilm '80 Ini'l Film Festival: to be held Feb. 
4-6, in San Antonio, Texas, and sponsored by the Int'l Fine 
Arts Center of the southwest, invites entries suitable for 
awards in the categories of best feature, best short film, best 
animation, best documentary and other categories determined 
by the judges. No entry fee; competition open to all film- 
makers. For entry forms/pertinent info., contact: HEMISFILM, 
One Camino, Santa Maria San Antonio, Texas 78289 (512) 
436-3209. 



22ND INTERNATIONAL FILM & TV FESTIVAL: of New York 
will take place November 7-9, 1979. The Festival features an 
international awards competition encompassing many 
aspects of film and videotape production, including television 
and cinema commercials, industrial and educational films, 
filmstrips, television programs, newsfilms, promotional films, 
introductions, lead-in titles, multimedia and multi-image 
presentations, documentary films and featurettes. For info: 
International Film & TV Festival, 251 West 57th Street, New 
York, NY 10019. 



Short Film Showcase 1979/80: a program of the National 
Endowment for the Arts administered by the Foundation for 
Independent Video and Film, Inc. (FIVF) to: create a wider 
audience for the work of independent filmmakers by ex- 
hibiting quality short films in commercial theatres and by pro- 
viding technical, marketing and promotional services for 
those films sponsored by the Showcase. Up to ten (10) films 
will be chosen by the judges for inclusion in the Showcase on 
the basis of the film's creative and technical excellence and 
suitability for exhibition to general audiences with feature 
films in U.S. theatres. Each filmmaker whose work is selected 
by the Final Screening Committee will receive an honorarium 
of $2,500. and will supervise the 35mm blow-up of his or her 
film. Entry Qualifications: 1) Eight (8) minutes or under total 
running time (including titles and end credits) and 2) will 
qualify for a MPAA rating of G or PG. Entry Deadline: 
November 1, 1979. Contact: FIVF for further info. (212) 
966-0900. 



FESTIVAL OF COMEDY: The National Student and Amateur 
Filmmakers Festival of Comedy is a competition for non- 
professional^ produced comedy shorts which, if selected, 
will be included in a feature length film comprised totally of 
comedy sketches. ELIGIBILITY: Open to all students and in- 
dependent filmmakers who are residents of the U.S. Films 
which have been commercially screened or distributed and 
those produced for a client are not eligible. PRIZES: First 
place ... $1,000, Second Place ... $750, Third Place ... 
$500. DEADLINE: Intent to enter statement should be received 
by November 1, 1979. For information write: FILM AT DIABLE 
VALLEY COLLEGE, Attn. Gerald T. Hurley, 321 Golf Club 
Road, Pleasant Hill, CA 94523. 



The FIVF Festivals Bureau was represented at this year's 33rd 
Edinburgh International Film Festival by two recently pro- 
duced independent features — Rob Niilson and John 
Hanson's Northern Lights (currently being shown at the In- 
dependent sidebar of the New York Film Festival and winner 
of this year's Camera D'or at Cannes) and Jan Egleson's Billy 
in the Lowlands (which is touring the country as part of the 
American Mavericks festival and was recently shown on chan- 
nel 13's Independent Focus). Both films were screened during 
the festival's opening week which commenced with the gala 
Scottish premiere of Manhattan. 

The most outstanding characteristic of the three-week long 
festival was the diversity of its over 300 selections, ranging 
from such commercial successes as Alien and Manhattan to 
the Flaherty classic Man of Aran. The range of American In- 
dependent cinema was similarly broad. Recently produced 
documentaries Jump Street (Chris Burrill), Song of the Canary 
(Josh Hanig, David Davis), were featured alongside "ex- 
perimental" works by Leandro Katz, Richard Serra, Michael 
Oblowitz, et al. A major portion of the festival's "Feminism in 
Cinema" Special Event was devoted to films by American 
women (Michele Citron — Daughter Rite, Karyn Kay — She, 

overlooking, overworking while Betty Gordon — 

Exchanges). Other special events included a tribute to 
Nicholas Ray, an examination of Phil lipine cinema in the 70's, 
and a program called "Documentary 50" which largely 
centered on work by D.A. Pennebaker, Richard Leacock, 
Willard Van Dyke among others. 

Edinburgh is not a particularly important festival in terms of 
its value as a marketplace. Press coverage is however, exten- 
sive although most of the publications represented were 
British. Many of the filmmakers were present as guests of the 
festival, as were representatives of various organizations 
throughout Britain, Europe and the U.S.. Claire Downs and 
Sophie Balhetchet of the Association of Independent Pro- 
ducers, a British organization whose work closely parallels 
that of the AIVF indicated their interest in meeting with 
American filmmakers traveling in Britain and have in turn 
directed visiting British Independents to the AIVF. A.I.P's 
address is: 17 Great Pulteney St., London, W1 



16 



NEXT TELECOMMUNICATIONS 
POLICY COUNCIL MEETINGS 

OCTOBER 11th 1979 (Thurs. 7:30 pm 
OCTOBER 23rd 1979 (Tues.) 7:30 pm 



9 W 

Rich Berkowitz (y 

Night and day for six weeks this summer, groups of 
angry demonstrators ranging in numbers from ten to 
one thousand, took to the streets of Greenwich Village 
to protest the filming of William Friedkin's (Lorimar) 
production of CRUISING. Except for the Village Voice, 
major commercial media coverage was a purposeful 
misinterpretation of the demonstrations. Radio, tele- 
vision and newspaper coverage strategically squelched 
the crucial issues which for weeks brought thousands 
of gays and their supporters into the streets and 
triggered the most volatile protests this city has seen in 
a decade. The media's tactic for discrediting the 
protests and prohibiting an open discussion of the 
issues was to stamp the demonstrations as anti-First 
Amendment, thereby squelching and replacing the 
issues gays wanted to confront with the issue of 
censorship the media preferred. Even "liberal" 
reporters who had been supportive of gays in the past 
fell into the trap the media set up, preferring to further 
censor and sermonize lesbians and gay men about the 
very rights gays themselves have too long been denied. 
Gays watched as CRUISING producer Jerry Weintraub 
rejoiced through countless television interviews 
(Channels 2 through 13) at the extensive free publicity 
gays were giving him, when in fact, it was the media, 
not gays, who served as an open platform for the film's 
defenders.Barred from the media's purported free flow 
of ideas, gays listened to Weintraub's final attempt to 
undermine the protests by his prediction that the film 
would now gross $100 million. With only scattered 
thousands of dollars to publicize their concerns and 



OR HOW I SPENT MY SUMMER VACATION 



mobilize protests, the message became clear to gay 
people. As one protestor's sign summed it up: "The 
first Amendment belongs to the highest bidder." 

The film opens with a shot of a severed arm floating in 
the East River. Next we meet Stuart, a gay psycho- 
pathic murderer enrolled at Columbia University where 
he is majoring in Musical Theatre . We soon learn that 
he hates being gay and the only way he can deal with 
his self-loathing is by castrating and mutilating gay 
men while pretending to have sex with them. As his 
victims turn up, the police department gets concerned. 
The point is made that their concern isn't for gay men, 
but for the Chief who is due to retire soon and not 
solving these murders would mar his perfect record. 
Pacino to the rescue. 

When we first meet Pacino, he is presented in a very 
strong heterosexual relationship with a woman. He's 
just an honest, unassuming working-class cop who 
loves kids and sports. When he is enlisted to act as a 
decoy to trap Stuart, he moves to Greenwich Village 
and starts lifting weights and wearing leather "to blend 
in". 

Soon after, Pacino destroys his relationship with his 
woman because something has happened to him while 
hanging around gay men. He's caught the disease — 
(This is the exposure theory Anita Bryant loves, which 
cost gay teachers in Dade County — and as part of the 
backlash in many other states — to lose basic legal 
protection against job discrimination.) In the final con- 
frontation between Pacino and Stuart, Pacino murders 




Gay protesters in West Village, July 1979. 



17 



Stuart and like an act of demonic possession takes on 
his psychopathic drive to kill gay men. While the police 
chief celebrates Pacino's success, Pacino is out on the 
streets picking up where Stuart left off. Victim number 
two is his best friend who lived across the hall from him 
in the West Village. Pacino committs the murders in the 
same graphic detail as Stuart (castrating the victim, 
stuffing the organ into the victim's mouth, etc.). But 
Friedkin doesn't end the film here. The final scene 
shows Pacino getting a medal for killing Stuart, and 
with it pinned onto his shirt pocket and a knife in his 
leather boot, takes back to the the streets to deal with 
his homosexuality the way he knows how. Fade out on 
the East River . . . Friedkin's final note in the script 
about the Pacino character, "He has freed himself" 
That is how he deals with the homosexual contagion. 

At a time of widespread American apathy and discon- 
tent, which the media has so cutely termed "national 
malaise" (the implication being that the people are sick 
— not their government) it seems sadly ironic that the 
media would stonewall the concerns and actions of a 
growing, major community of New Yorkers who, like 
most minority people, have not fallen victim to apathy 
and whose discontent was exercised by their First 
Amendment right to protest. 

The filming is over now and so too are the protests; yet 
the media, in anticipation of more protests when 
CRUISING is released, continues to act as a platform 
for the film's producers. In a New York Times interview 
("Friedkin Defends His Cruising" Sept. 18, 1979) 
Friedkin says, "To say that a film that has not been 
made yet is going to cause people to kill gays is, in my 
opinion, wishful thinking . . . (Arthur) Bell and all 

the others who have said this film will cause gay men to 
be murdered want that to happen . . . 
The reason people initially called for protests was not, 
as the media reported, to censor a film that portrayed 
gays in a way they didn't like. It was a matter of self- 
defense, a counter-attack against Friedkin who had 
pulled a fast one over on the gay community. He had 
enlisted the support of dozens of gay bars and 
businesses and hundreds of actors and local street 
people to work on the film. They were ordered to wear 
leather and were refused a glimpse of the script. 

A person on the production allowed Village Voice 
columnist Arthur Bell to see the script. Like everyone 
else who later read it, Bell realized that CRUISING 
wasn't a film about gays who are murdered — but a film 
about how and why gays should be murdered. Outraged 
that Friedkin was so insidious as to try and give 
credence to his genocidal propaganda by misleading 
and paying off gay business and bar owners and by 
using Villagers, their bars, their stores, their streets and 
their community, Bell wrote a column to let these 
people know what kind of film Friedkin was using them 
for, but not telling them about. Town meetings were 
called; attendance was SRO; and as gays began con- 
gregating on the streets, their mutual anger grew. 
Copies of the script began to circulate and immediately 
gays began a massive withdrawal of their support. 
Owners of stores and bars lining Christopher and West 
Streets, which are designated throughout Friedkin's 
script, brandished banners in their windows which read: 

18 



"This is not a movie set. Stop the movie CRUISING." 
Sheets were used on their storefronts to cover their 
logos and name signs, forcing Friedkin to relocate 
crucial shots. On Village streets where shooting was at- 
tempted, resident gays became creatively rude. Stereo 
speakers were positioned at their windows. Some lec- 
tured the cast and crew for hours with megaphones on 
why gays were protesting. One woman filmmaker 
waited patiently at a window until each shot was set up 
and rolling until she lowered a Mickey Mouse puppet on 
top of Al Pacino's leather-capped head. Gays con- 
fronted shooting sites (from behind police barracades) 
to make sure that those still working on the film knew 
what Friedkin would never tell them. Protestors who 
recognized friends standing in the crowd of "extras" 
pleaded with them to quit. Those who walked off were 
cheered. None of this was censorship; it was an act of 
community. 

An enthusiastic march to Mayor Koch's house turned 
out to be a field day for the media, who interpreted this 
action as a blatant demand for government intervention 
and censorship. But again, it was the media who were 
guilty. Gays had every right to demand that their tax 
dollars not be offered and used to undercut the produc- 
tion costs of this film in the form of free city services 
sponsored in part with gay citizens' tax dollars. Ser- 
vices included free rental space for storing equipment, 
assistance from the Mayor's Office of Motion Pictures 
in scouting and securing locations and police support, 
which one night numbered over 200 in order to keep 
protestors 4 blocks from shooting sights. 

Friedkin understands why the West Village is unique to 
gay people: that is, it offers social mobility without fear. 
His script pays close attention to detail in mapping out 
the actual geography of the Christopher Street area 
(Shots of street signs/pans to popular bar fronts). After 
the script establishes male homosexuals as sado- 
masochists (not all, just the ones living in NYC) the 
script then goes on to explain how easily gay people 
can be preyed upon in any typical social or cruising 
situation. (Robbery is a bonus to mere assault.) 
Friedkin's dialogue tends to reveal a truth in the way 
gays tend to trust each other and assume that everyone 
else in a gay bar is gay. This vulnerability becomes the 
foundation of Friedkin's blueprint for murdering gay 
men, or luring them alone ("fag-baiting"). 
Gay people are learning that as their visibility in- 
creases, so does the violence and anger of those who 
become threatened: which is simply to say that the gay 
community of Greenwich Village did not want to 
become as accessible to homophobic attack as Harvey 
Milk was in San Francisco. 

And so, armed with whistles (to ruin the sound) and mir- 
rors (to ruin the shots) gays protested through a long 
hot summer. Their message to Friedkin: "Get out of our 
bars, our stores and our houses. Build sets, hire actors, 
but don't expect gay people to sit idly by or help." Their 
message to Hollywood: "We will no longer be used as 
background for your exploitation films." Violence-for- 
profit may be good at the box-office, but gays have as 
much right to the streets of Greenwich Village as 
William Friedkin. 



the column 



AIVF Board member Stew Bird and longtime member 
Deborah Shaeffer had their new film THE WOBBLIES 
included in the 17th Annual NY Film Festival. THE WOB- 
BLIES is a historical documentary about the socialist 
movement (Angelicism) in America, which focuses on 
survivors of the radical labor unions founded in 1905. 
Since the NY Film Fest has a reputation for preferring 
foreign films the way Channel 13 has always preferred a 
British accent, it's a promising sign to see independent 
American work like THE WOBBLIES give the Festival a 
touch of "class". Eduardo Darino, best known for his 
animated films, is now in Uruguay directing GURI, a 
feature docu-drama about a kid becoming a man in the 
gauchos' world. GURI marks the first co-production be- 
tween the USA and Uruguay . . . Filmmaker John Wise is 
directing a documentary tentatively titled SANTERIA, 
which will trace the influence of African religion in 
America. Shooting is being done on location in South 
Carolina at an isolated village named Oyotunji, home of a 
veritable Yoruba tribe . . . Filmmaker Barbara Kopple is 
now directing THE MUSE FILM (tentative title). MUSE, 
which stands for Musicians United for Safe Energy, will 
be primarily a concert film and will include footage of 
last month's MUSE concerts at Madison Square Garden, 
in addition to recent anti-nuke rallies, alternative energy 
projects, etc. Haskell Wexler is DP ... "An Evening of 
Films by Jan Oxenberg" will be held Nov. 15-16, 8:30 pm, 
at Church of Holy Apostles, 360 West 28th St., NYC. Ad- 
mission is $3.50; Call (212) 929-6477 for further info. 
Oxenberg is probably best known for her clever spoofing 



of Lesbian stereotypes in A COMEDY IN SIX UN- 
NATURAL ACTS . . . 

CONGRATULATIONS to some AIVF members who were 
award-winners at the 1979 Athens Intl. Film Festival: 
Will Roberts' latest study of masculinity, a documen- 
tary titled BETWEEN MEN (MEN'S LIVES, made with 
Josh Hanig, was his first) was awarded a special prize, 
the Lee Garmes Award. BETWEEN MEN focuses on 
masculinity and the military. Last spring AIVF screened 
Ellen Hovde and Mirra Bank's JOKES OR LOVE 
DEPARTED which was honored for merit in the Short 
Film Category. Also screened was Anita Thacher's SEA 
TRAVELS, a surrealistic film about a young girl's 
journey through childhood. Thacher was awarded the 
Golden Athena. Other winners included Bryan Elsom 
and Peter Bundy's ALABAMA DEPARTURE and Dan 
Curry's SATURDAY MORNING. Both films received 
merit awards in the experimental category . . . The 
extraterrestrial experiences of two cops are the fic- 
tional subjects of THE LAST SPACE VOYAGE OF 
WALLACE REMSEL, Part I, directed by Ruth Rothko 
and John Keeler. It's scheduled to be aired by SoHo TV 
on Nov. 5 at 10 pm on Channel 10. Also: an artist 
documents artists in Christa Maiwald's ARTISTS and 
UNDERGROUND ACCELERATOR. Part I will be aired on 
SoHo TV on Nov. 26 at 10 pm. Part II will air Dec. 3 . . . 
The Latino Committee on the Media (1737 West 18th 
St., Chicago, IL 60608) is filing petitions against the 
renewal of licenses for WBBM-TV and approximately 20 
radio stations for discriminating against Latinos in the' 
media industry . 



FILM CLINIC by SOL RUBIN 

Distribution 

Some time past I contacted Douglas Brooker regarding 
the distribution of my short film Saints In Chinatown. He 
suggested a number of changes including shortening 
the film, addint a narration, etc. In the correspondence 
that follows Mr. Brooker follows up his suggestions with 
a series of reflections on and explanations of his 
distributers view of Independent films. 

Dear Sol Rubin: 

Thanks for your letter. 

With Canadian content regulations governing our tele- 
vision system and with budget cuts and dropping 
enrollments affecting our institutional non-theatrical 
clients, it is becoming a greater difficulty to market 
short subjects which are neither Canadian in content or 
specifically tied to school courses, or subjects. 

Given that our aim is profit and given the above prob- 
lems we face we would be very lucky indeed to be able 
to pursue the altruistic educational and non-profit ambi- 
tions that lurk in an uncomfortable confinement in the 
inner reaches of our commercial heart. 

An artist may or may not see himself or herself as an in- 
former or teacher. However his work certainly does in- 
form and teach and on any level that the receiving mind 
can create. One definition of 'teach' is, "to accustom to 
some action or attitude". Few people can perceive out- 
side of the limits of their own prejudices. So the effect 



The subject of your proposed discussion, "an audience 
hungry for visualization versus verbilization" confounds 
my understanding. From the point of view of a profit- 
oriented commercial distributor I wonder if there is a 
commercially viable market of individuals conscious of 
their hungers. This type of customer or consumer only 
causes problems for the corporation. However needs 
can only be repressed for a certain (long) period of time 
before the repression explodes. It could be that manip- 
ulations and control schemes of various personal, 
social, political, economic and sexual power structures 
are a manifestation of an artificial strength behind 
which lies utter abject weakness. 

With this in mind, if an artist has certain concepts he 
feels it important to express or convey he should not 
worry about making compromises with the existing 
power structures in order to be comprehended. Know- 
ing that the power structure is weak behind its facade 
of strength the artist is in a position of strength and 
because of this the 'appearance' of weakness should 
not create difficulty. It takes a very long time for ideas 
to filter through to large numbers of people. Artistic 
compromises can speed this process. It is a decision 
only the artist can make. 

All of the above is for the purpose of discussion and is 
not intended to reflect any static point of view. 

Yours truly, 

Douglas Brooker 

Manager 

Non-theatrical Division 19 



*•*•***** 



• 



AFI REACHES OUT 



AFI CONFERENCE PRELIMINARY 
PROGRAM (October 11-14) 



4:30 REGIONAL FEATURE FILMMAKING 
to HOLLYWOOD THE ONLY place? 

6:00 Director/Producer Stanley Kramer who recently 
moved from Hollywood to Seattle and other film- 
makers discuss the freedoms and limitations of mak- 
ing feature motion pictures outside of the Hollywood 
motion picture industry. 

3:45 INDEPENDENT TV PRODUCTION — FREEDOM VS. 
to RESPONSIBILITY 

5:45 David Wolper, pioneer docu-drama producer and 
other independent television creators discuss the 
opportunities and limitations of producing outside 
"establishment" network structure. 

SPECIAL SIDE TRIPS AVAILABLE TO 
AFI CONFERENCE PARTICIPANTS 
AND GUESTS 

Friday, Oct. 12, 
Depart 10:30 am 



© 

© 

o 
© 
o 
© 
© 
o 
© 
© 
o 
o 
© 
© 
© 
© 
© 
o 

***• 

ft ft J* ft it 



is 



Friday, Oct. 12 
Depart 2:30 pm 



Saturday, Oct. 13 
Depart 9:00 am 



* 



o ••••••••• o 



BEVERLY HILLS, HOLLYWOOD AND 
LOS ANGELES 

A visit to glamorous Hollywood Blvd.. 
famous Chinese Theatre to see the foot- 
prints of the stars, the Hollywood Bowl. 
Sunset Strip, then on for a breathtaking 
view of movie stars' mansions in Beverly 
Hills. We return along famed Wilshire 
Blvd., lined with interesting shops and 
boutiques. 

Duration: Approx. 2V2 hours. 
SPECIAL PRICE FOR AFI GUESTS $3.75 

OR 
UNIVERSAL STUDIOS TOUR 
This visit covers the highlights of the 
world's largest movie and TV studio. 
Duration: Approx. 2 1 /2 hours. 
SPECIAL PRICE FOR AFI GUESTS $6.50 

DISNEYLAND 

Includes admission and 11 attractions 
such as Space Mountain, Haunted Man- 
sion and bawdy Pirates of the Caribbean. 
Duration: All Day 
SPECIAL PRICE FOR AFI GUESTS $14.10 

**•*•*• 



© 
© 
© 

o 
© 
o 
© 
© 
© 
© 
o 
© 
© 
© 
o 
© 
© 
© 



20 



COURSES/CONFERENCES 

ASTORIA STUDIOS PRESENTS 
MASTER LECTURE SERIES: examining 
the crafts of motion picture production 
with directors Lamont Johnson and 
Arthur Hiller, screenwriters Jay Allen 
and David Newman, art director Mel 
Bourne, sound man Christopher 
Newman, cinematographer Arthur Ornitz 
and representatives from local unions. 
Series runs Sept. 27 - Dec. 20. For ticket 
info, call the Office of Public Programs 
(212) 784-4520; or write: Office at the 
Astoria Motion Picture and TV Center 
Foundation, 34-31 Street, Astoria, NY 
11106. 

NARRATIVE FILM PRODUCTION 
WORKSHOP AT WOMEN'S INTERART: 
Offers training in both the theoretical 
and practical demands of 16mm film 
production; classes meet twice weekly, 
Oct. 15 through June 30. Instructors are 
ELLEN HOVDE, JILL GODMILOW, MUF- 
FIE MEYER and SUSAN FANSHEL For 
application and interview info, contact 
Women's Interart Center, (212) 246-1050. 

NATIONAL BLACK MEDIA COALITION: 
hosted its Sixth Annual Meeting on Oct. 
4-7, at the Mayflower Hotel, Washington, 
DC 20036. (202) 797-7473. 

DIRECTOR'S PROJECT WITH ALICE 
SPIVAK: for film and TV professionals. 
YF/VA is offering an introductory 
workshop Saturdays, beginning in 
October. Contact Joanne Hanley, (212) 
673-9361. 

TV STUDIO PRODUCTION COURSE: of- 
fers hands-on training in basic pro- 
cedures, operations and crew roles. 
Monday evenings, November 5 
-February 4. Cost: $375. Scholarship aid 
available. Contact (212) 673-9361. 

DEVELOPING ELECTRONIC TECHNOL- 
OGIES AS SEEN IN THE MEDIA ARTS: a 
two-day conference, sponsored by the 
NEA and University of Maryland 
Baltimore County, to be held Nov. 10-11 
(panel discussions, workshops, screen- 
ings, and hardware displays featuring 
state of the art technology in video 
systems and computer graphics). A 
special exhibition, open to all artists, 
who may submit work in computer 
graphics/animation, copy art, 
photography, video, etc., will run from 
Oct. 20 - Nov. 20. Contact: Ms. Cindy 
Oechsle, Coordinator of Exhibitions, 
UMBC Library Gallery, 5401 Wilkens 
Ave., Baltimore, MD 21228. 1-(301) 
455-2353. 

VIDEO EXPO '79/NEW YORK: to be held 
Oct. 16-18, offers seminars and exhibits 
to help professionals learn the newest 
TV skills and techniques. Contact: Video 
Expo/NY, Knowledge Industry Publica- 
tions, 2 Corporate Park Dr., White 
Plains, NY 10604. 



PEOPLE AND CAREERS IN TELECOM- 
MUNICATIONS (PACT): is a nationwide 
job matching system which links public 
broadcasting employers with a wide 
selection of media professionals — 
even those outside the industry. PACT 
insures that job opportunities are 
available to all interested personnel in- 
cluding minorities and women for open- 
ings in management, production, 
graphics, writing, engineering, develop- 
ment, broadcast education, etc. At pre- 
sent PACT'S service is free of charge. To 
receive registration forms, contact 
PACT/NAEB, 1346 Connecticut Ave. 
NW, Suite 1101, Washington, DC 20036. 
(202) 785-1100. 

EXPERIENCED PROJECTIONIST 
WANTED: For FIVF presentations. Call 
966-0900 for details. Ask for Leslie or 
Rich. 

PROJECT COORDINATOR POSITION 
AVAILABLE at Women Make Movies. 
Program deals with "Bringing Video and 
Film With Their Makers to the Communi- 
ty". Salary: $8,690 plus benefits; Ceta 
eligible. Contact WMM at (212) 929-6477. 

FUNDS/RESOURCES 

WNET'S INDEPENDENT DOCUMEN- 
TARY FUND: now in its third year, will 
be awarding $80,000 for documentaries 
to independents for new projects as 
well as works-in-progress. Deadline for 
submitting proposals is Nov. 30. Con- 
tact Kathy Kline, WNET-TV LAB, 356 
West 58th Street, New York, NY 10019. 

CPB'S MINORITY MONEY: The Corpora- 
tion for Public Broadcasting, in a recent 
Variety article, announced the setting 
aside of $1,000,000 for the production 
and development of minority program- 
ming. It is soliciting proposals and will 
devise a formula for grants to match 
public TV station contributions. 

However, when we called CPB, they 
referred us to the Public Broadcasting 
Service Station Programming Cooper- 
ative department (ATTN: JOHN 
LORENTZ, 475 L'ENFANT PLAZA, S.W., 
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20024). Inquiries 
for applications should be addressed to 
that department. 

THE FILM FUND: an organization 
"devoted to assisting independent film- 
makers, distributors, donors and com- 
munity organizers in the effective use of 
visual media for social change," an- 
nounces that applications are currently 
available for the next grant cycle. Ap- 
plications will be accepted beginning 
mid-October through January 3, 1980. 
For more information, contact: Leslie 
DeBorg, The Film Fund, 80 East 11th St., 
New York, NY 10003; call (212) 475-3720 
or 552-8830. 



FINANCING THE LOW-BUDGET IN- 
DEPENDENT FEATURE FILM: An inten- 
sive 3-day seminar for film producers, at- 
torneys, bankers and investors who are 
involved in the financing of independent 
feature films; October 19-21, sponsored 
by the Northwest Media Project in 
Portland. Oregon. Contact: NMP. PO 
Box 4093, Portland, OR 97208 

VIDICONN — the first state video con- 
ference in Connecticut will be held 
Saturday, October 20, from 9 AM to 7 
PM at Trinity College and CPTV. 22 Sum- 
mit St., Hartford. This one-day con- 
ference, sponsored by MONTEVIDEO 
(Sidewalk, Inc.) will deal with issues and 
concerns of video artists and indepen- 
dent producers, including their relation- 
ship with the Conn. Broadcast and 
Cable Television Industry. Registration 
from 9am-9:45am at the studios of 
CPTV. Registration fee at door: $3.00. 
For more info, contact MONTEVIDEO, 
P.O. Box 3537, Hartford, Conn. 06103. 
(203) 247-3482. 



FILMS WANTED 

ICAP DISTRIBUTES INDEPENDENT 
FILMS to pay TV and returns 75% of 
payment received from cablecasting to 
the producer. ICAP is especially in- 
terested in films for children, teenagers 
and senior citizens. Send descriptions/ 
promo material to: Susan Eenigenburg, 
Independent Cinema Artists and Pro- 
ducers, 99 Prince St., NYC 10012. (212) 
226-1655. 

BLACK ENTERTAINMENT TELEVISION 
(BET) is in the process of establishing a 
network to exhibit Black TV program- 
ming that it acquires to cable television 
subscribers across the country. BET is 
interested in licensing Black program- 
ming (tape/film) for exhibition on an 
advertiser-supported basis, particularly 
entertainment-type programming, in- 
cluding "docu-drama", rather than 
educational or politically oriented pro- 
grams. For further info, contact: Bob 
Johnson, Pres., BET, 3544 Brandywine 
St., NW, Washington, DC 20008. (202) 
457-6776. 

WNET/THIRTEEN SEEKING WORKS BY 
INDEPENDENTS FOR BROADCAST: 
Independent producers are invited to 
submit completed works for possible in- 
clusion in the third season of the local 
acquisition series INDEPENDENT 
FOCUS, scheduled to return January 
1980. The series is open to all in- 
dependently produced works not 
previously aired on WNET. Preferred 
minimum length is approx. 20 minutes. 
Either a 16MM or % inch cassette 
should be submitted for screening pur- 
poses. Works will be screened through 
October 12. Acquisition rate: $35. per 



>W CLASSIFIEDS ** * 



BUY/SELL/RENT 

FOR SALE: 1610 Sony Video Camera, 
Sony 3800. Akai cc/50 Color Camera. 
Call (212) 486-9020. 

FOR SALE: 2 Silent 16MM projectors 
with cases; in working condition. One is 
single sprocketed, other is double. Both 
have 400 foot capacity; rheostat con- 
trolled. Call (212) 691-0191. 

FOR SALE: 9.5 — 95mm zoom lens, CPR 
mount and access. Digital slate with 
mike. Lowell lights. Call (212) 580-1266. 

FOR SALE: NAGRA III; also video gear 
and film projectors. Call Mike: (212) 
580-9551. 

FOR RENT: Complete EDITING 
FACILITIES (including a 6-plate 
Steenbeck). Also complete SOUND 
TRANSFER EQUIPMENT available. Call 
(212) 486-9020. 

OFFICE SPACE WANTED: Looking to 
share office space in midtown with 
another filmmaker. If you have space 
available or are looking for someone to 
share space with you, please call Lynn 
Rogoff, (212) 966-7563. 

FOR RENT/MOVIOLA 6-plate, with 
3-bedroom country house in Catskills. 
Available immediately. $500.00 monthly 
rent. Call (518) 966-5746. Keep trying: 
Artemisia, Box 11, Surprise. NY 12176. 

FOR RENT: Editing and post-production 
facilities available. Fully eguipped 
rooms. 24-hour access in security 
building. 6-plate Steenbeck. 6-plate 
Moviola flatbed, sound transfers from 
1 /4 " to 16mm mag, narration recording, 
sound effects library, interlock screen- 
ing room available. Contact: Cinetudes 
Film Productions, 377 Bway., NYC 
10013. (212) 966-4600. 

SONY AV 8400 PORTOPAK. color capa- 
ble, available to rent. Call Jeff Kantor 
(212) 788-5744. 

FOR SALE: Bolex Reflex 2 Body ($400); 
10mm Switar-Rx ($300): 25mm Cine 
Ektar ($75): 10mm Cine Ektar ($75); Craig 
Super-8 editor and splicer ($50). Call 
(212) 989-7184. 

OPPORTUNITIES/GIGS/ 
APPRENTICESHIPS 

POSITION AVAILABLE: Equipment Loan 
Manager with experience wanted full- 
time to serve the independent communi- 
ty. Dutues: supervise program staff, 
coordinate programs and workshops, 
advise clients and evaluate applications, 
schedule loans, maintenance and 



facilitation of repairs on wide variety of 
equipment. Salary commensurate with 
experience. Contact Gerry Pallor, 
YOUNG FILMAKERS/VIDEO ARTS, 4 
Rivington Street, NYC 10002. (212) 
673-9361. EEO. 

INTERNSHIP OFFERED at WOMEN 
MAKE MOVIES: in arts administration, 
emphasis on community involvement 
and social change media. Duties: assist. 
Director, daily management of office/ 
budgets, supervision and coordinating 
activities; 3 days per week min. 
Students encouraged to apply im- 
mediately to work out academic credit 
and/or stipend arrangements. Contact 
Janet Benn, Exec. Dir., WMM, 257 West 
19th Street, NYC 10011. (212) 929-6477. 

JOB OPPORTUNITY at APPALSHOP 
FILMS, a non-profit media center in the 
Appalachian region. Looking for staff 
member for our distribution of 16MM 
documentary films. Duties encompass 
promotion, office work, etc. Salary range 
$6,500 - $7,800. Benefits. Send resume 
to: Laura Schuster, Appalshop Films, 
Box 743, Whitesburg, KY 41858. (606) 
633-5708. 

EDITOR WANTED: A 45-minute narrative 
film in rough cut, having been edited by 
its director needs a fresh pair of eyes. 
No pay. Film has excellent perfor- 
mances and needs creative editing deci- 
sions. Contact: Adam Schwartz, 200 
Adams Avenue, River Edge, NJ 07661. 
(201) 262-4855/4861. 

SEEKING CURATOR OF FILM: at the 
PACIFIC FILM ARCHIVE, major univer- 
sity art museum film department. 
Demonstrated programming, manage- 
ment and development experience re- 
quired; also, academic training in film. 
Position available in late Fall '79. Send 
letter, resume and salary history by Oct. 
1 to: James Elliott, Dir., Univ. Art 
Museum, Univ. of California, Berkeley. 
CA 94720. 

COLLABORATOR WANTED: Experienced 
in documentary film on art; subject is 
well-known American artist. Please send 
resume to: Christie Sherman, 30 West 
90th Street, Apt. 9D, NYC 10024. 

EXPERIENCED NEGATIVE MATCHING: 
Quick, clean cut, low prices. B/W, color 
or negative reversal. Call Pola Rapaport: 
(212) 431-3773. 

JOB OPPORTUNITY AS DISTRIBUTOR: 
for Women Make Movies project, "Bring- 
ing Video and Film With Their Makers to 
the Community". Salary: $8,690 plus 
benefits; Ceta eligible. Contact WMM at 
(212) 929-6477. 



SOUNDPERSON AVAILABLE for work 
with Nagra 4.2L. Call (212) 486-9020. 

ANIMATION/TITLES SERVICE: Shoot 
your ads, titles, photo collage on an 
animation stand in smog-free Vermont 
— or let us do it for you! Reasonable 
rates. Call Doreen or Robin (802) 
862-4929. Accomodations available. 

FILM RESEARCH SERVICE: Media 
Works, Inc. will locate stock footage for 
your next production. Access to exten- 
sive stock footage by government agen- 
cies, associations, etc. Complete ser- 
vices — research, previewing, reproduc- 
tion & delivery. Tell us your needs — 
we'll find the footage. Media Works, Inc. 
Box 57269, Wash. D.C. 20037. 

EXPERIENCED PRODUCTION ASSIS- 
TANT AVAILABLE: Broad range of ex- 
perience with video. Call Michael Fitz- 
gerald, (212) 662-3580. 

OPPORTUNITY WANTED: Individual 
seeks beginner's position. Have back- 
ground in research; little film ex- 
perience. Especially interested in social 
documentaries. Willing to volunteer 
time in exchange for learning. Available 
evenings and weekends. Call Laurie 
Beck, (212) 532-9200-X321 before 7 pm, 
(201) 861-7086 after 7 pm. 

Woman seeks individuals who need 
writer for film project. Documentary 
subjects preferred — women's interest 
priority. Also can provide still 
photographic ssistance. Have public 
television contacts; experience and 
writing credits provided upon request. 
Contact after 7:30 p.m. evenings: 
516-935-8494. 

POSITION AVAILABLE/EXECUTIVE 
DIRECTOR OF PITTSBURGH FILM- 
MAKERS: Candidate should be available 
in late November to serve as ad- 
ministrative head of the cinema/video/ 
photography art center. Letters and 
resume should be sent by Oct. 19 to: 
"Executive Search Committee", Pitts- 
burgh Film-Makers, P.O. Box 7467, Pitts- 
burgh. PA 15213. 

VIDEO/POSITION AVAILABLE: Entry 
level position with small video produc- 
tion house specializing in location work 
for broadcast. Responsibilities include 
organization and maintenance (to and 
from repair shop with knowledge of 
check-out procedures) of equipment; 
dealing with rental houses and general 
all-around grip. Familiarity with the 
workings of video and 3 A " recording 
would be helpful as would experience 
crewing on shoots. Ability to work well 
with people is important. Salary com- 
mensurate with skills. Phone or send 
resume to: Susan Milano, Rebo 
Associates, 118 E. 28th Street, N.Y.C. 
(889-5571) 



minute. Contact: Marc N. Weiss, Coor- 
dinating Producer, INDEPENDENT 
FOCUS, Acquisitions Dept, WNET/Thir- 
teen, 356 West 58th St., NYC, NY 10019. 

MINORITY PROGRAMMING SEARCH: 
WETA-TV, Channel 26, a public TV sta- 
tion in Washington, DC, is seeking TV 
programming that may be of particular 
interest to Blacks and Hispanics. Pro- 
gramming should feature Blacks and 
Hispanics on the screen. Type of pro- 
gramming can range from public affairs 
to cultural and entertaining (perfor- 
mance, doc, magazine, drama, sit-com, 
interview, profile, etc.) 16MM, 2-inch, 3 M 
inch, B/W and color are accepted. Con- 
tact: Patrice Lindsey Smith, Asst. Pro- 
gram Mgr.. WETA-TV PO Box 2626. 
Washington, DC 20013. (202) 998-2809. 

ARTHUR MOKIN PRODUCTIONS IS 
SEEKING 16MM EDUCATIONAL 
SHORTS. We are producers and 
distributors of 16mm films for the 
educational and television market. Con- 
tact Bill Mokin at (212) 757-4868 or write: 
Arthur Mokin Productions, Inc.. 17 W. 60 
St., NYC 10023. 

FILMMAKER SEEKS FOOTAGE OF 
WOMEN performing laundry related or 
clothes washing related tasks in various 
parts of the U.S. and especially in other 
cultures. Images of clotheslines in other 
countries also sought. Stock footage 
prices paid for color neg or positive and 
B & W neg. or pos. Write R. Cantow 136 
W. 87th St., NYC, NY 10024 or call 
874-7255 (212) 

FRENCH FILM COMPANY interested in 
acquiring independent films: features, 
animation, documentary, and children's 
films. Company owns theatres in Paris. 
Contact: Eva Mekler, 28 East 10th 



Street, NYC 10003. (212) 777-3055 or 
(212) 724-7400. 

NEW COMMUNITY CINEMA: a Long- 
Island based non-profit film showcase 
would like independent filmmakers to 
contact them for possible screenings 
and information which will be used for a 
film research library. Please send 
filmography and biography to: Steven 
Davidson, New Community Cinema, P.O. 
Box 498, Huntington. NY 11743. (516) 
423-7619. (Honorariums available for 
selected filmmakers.) 

VETERANS? I am putting together a 
documentary on what it was like to 
spend a year as a soldier in Viet Nam. 
We hope to use mainly home movies 
and slides of mess halls, mediacal 
facilities and barracks, etc. We would 
also like to interview the home movie 
maker. CONTACT: David Miller, 1311 No. 
Troy St., Arlington, VA 22201. (703) 
528-4806. 

PUBLICATIONS 

CHAMBA NOTES, a Pan African film 
newsletter, is published quarterly for 
educators, students, filmmakers and 
programmers. It highlights international 
releases, publications, funding sources, 
and interviews with minority filmmakers. 
Subscriptions are $3/students, $5/indi- 
viduals, and $10/institutions. Write to 
Chamba Notes, Box U, Brooklyn, NY 
11202. 

SIGHTLINES is the official quarterly 
publication of the Educational Film 
Library Association (EFLA), a non-profit 
membership organization incorporated 
in 1943 to promote the production, 
distribution and use of film and other a-v 
materials in education and the arts. All 



independent filmmakers who produce 
short and feature-length documentaries, 
animations, experimental and dramatic 
films are encouraged to write/contact: 
Judith Trojan, Sightlines, EFLA, 43 West 
61st St. NY 10023. (212) 246-4533. 

VOLUNTEER LAWYERS FOR THE 
ARTS: is offering three new publications 
— "What Every Artist Should Know 
About Copyright", "A Tax Guide for 
Artists and Arts Organizations", "Fear 
of Filing — 1979 Revision". For more 
info, contact: VLA, 36 West 44th St., 
Suite 1110, NYC, NY 10036. (212) 
575-1150. 

IN FOCUS: A GUIDE TO USING FILMS: 
presents strategies for effectively using 
and promoting films; also a guide for 
successful screenings and more. Con- 
tact: Cine Information, PO BOX 449, 
Planetarium Station, NYC, NY 10024. 

THE COMPLETE INTERNATIONAL 
DIRECTORY OF CONTESTS, 
FESTIVALS AND GRANTS: In film, TV, 
Radio, Photography, Writing and Jour- 
nalism. By Alan Gadney. Send check or 
money order for $15.95 plus $1.50 
(postage/handling) to: Festival Publica- 
tions, Dept. F-2, POB 10180, Glendale, 
CA 91209. 

HOW TO GET GRANTS TO MAKE 
FILMS: A Guide To Media Grants in 
Film, Video, etc. By Steve Penney — 
Send $14.95 plus $1.00 (postage) to: 
Film Grants Guide, POB 1138, Santa 
Barbara, CA 93102. 

AIVF has these and many other publica- 
tions of interest to independents as part 
of our reference library available for 
your perusal or research during office 
hours,. (Monday - Friday, 10am - 6 pm.). 



FOUNDATION OF INDEPENDENT VIDEO & FILM 
99 Prince Street 
New York, N.Y. 10012 



Wed. Oct. 24 
8:30 pm 
NYU Graduate 
Film Dept. 
40 E. 7th St. 
(bet. 2nd/3rd Ave. 
Bijou Theatre 



Oct. 25 
8:00 PM 

The Collective for 
Living Cinema 



Wed. Nov. 7 
8:00 PM 
99 Prince St. 



Wed. Nov 
8:00 PM 
99 Prince St 



14 



SHORT FILM SHOWCASE SCREENING: 

The Short Film Showcase is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts and is administered by the Foundation 

for Independent Video and Film, Inc. (FIVF) to: create a wider audience for the work of independent filmmakers by 

exhibiting quality short films in commercial theatres and by providing technical, marketing and promotional services 

for those films sponsored by the Showcase. 

Project Administrator Alan Mitosky will introduce the program of films: Doubletalk by Alan Beattie, Viewmaster by 

George Griffin, No Breaks by Dan Manson, Mandarin Oranges by John Brister, The Dogs by Aviva Slesin and Iris 

Cahn, Lapis by James Whitney, Frank Film by Frank Mouris, At The Movies by Carl Surges, Bellanca by Greg Stiever, 

Clay by Eliot Noyes and Light by Jordan Belson. 

Admission for FIVF presentations is $1 .50,/ AIVF members; $2.50 / non members. For further information, contact 
the office. 

AN EVENING WITH RICHARD BENNER AND FRANK VITALE 

SCREENING: 

FRIDAY NIGHT ADVENTURE (28 min.) tells the story of two men who meet in a gay bar. The film contrasts one man's 

cynicism with another man's innocence in portraying some of the difficulties gay men find in trying to adapt to the 

society around them. Screenplay by Richard Benner; directed by Frank Vitale. FNA was produced for the Canadian 

Broadcasting Corporation and has rarely been seen in the U.S. 

MONTREAL MAIN (86 min? "Frank is an inarticulate, self-proclaimed artist; the faded tail of the youth comet of the 
sixties. Johnny is thirteen and just ready to emerge from the swadlings of the suburbs. They meet in a moment of 
mutual need only to be separated by all those forces which keep society neat, clean-cut and in its place. ' ' (Quote by 
Ron Blumer.) Montreal Main is an improvisational film about growing up in the seventies. Directed by Frank Vitale. 

Richard Benner, best known for writing and directing OUTRAGEOUS which starred Craig Russell, has recently com- 
pleted shooting HAPPY BIRTHDAY GEMINI (based on the current Broadway hit show GEMINI) which stars Rita 
Moreno and Madeline Kahn. 

Frank Vitale's directing credits FRIDAY NIGHT ADVENTURE and MONTREAL MAIN 

CREATIVE AND SUCCESSFUL SOLUTIONS FOR FINANCING INDEPENDENT PRODUCTION. How did Roy Campanella 
pass the tests of so many grantors to produce his 36 min. dramatic film PASS FAIL? How did Jill Godmilow raise the 
budget for a 60 min. doc. on Serbian folksingers (THE POPPOVITCH BROTHERS)?; John Hansen a 2 hour political, 
dramatic feature (NORTHERN LIGHTS)?; Mark Rappaport 5 dramatic features in as many years 7 How did Nick 
DeMartino use his distribution arrangements (syndication of PTV stations) to produce a public affairs program on 
nuclear energy?; how did Eli Noyes arrange for a major non-theatrical distributor to produce his personal animation? 
These independents will discuss their respective approaches following a screening of Roy Campanella's film, PASS 
FAIL, a dramatic exploration of the personal/financial problems of producing an independent film. 

CREATIVE AND SUCCESSFUL SOLUTIONS FOR DISTRIBUTING INDEPENDENT PRODUCTION. It is hardly news for 
independents that the major institutions for film distribution from PTV to commercial theatrical exhibition are not 
receptive to independent work. How have independents created alternative means: Karen Rannuci, Downtown Com- 
munity Television Center; Warrington Hudlin, the Black Filmmakers Cooperative; Peter Adair, producer. WORD IS 
OUT; and others. Speaker's appearances for both panels (Nov. 7th and 14th) are subject to change. 




indep endent 



NOVEMBER ISTS 









*«■— — ww i w iii ' l i i .[imiuM i 




the 



fin 



vol. 2 /no. 9 



NOVEMBER 79 



THE INDEPENDENT is published 10 times yearly by the 
Foundation for Independent Video and Film, Inc., 99 Prince 
St., NY, NY 10012, with support from the New York State 
Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts, 
a federal agency. Subscription is included in membership to 
the organization. 

Publisher: Alan Jacobs 

Editor: Bill Jones 

Associate Editor: Rich Berkowitz 

Contributing Editors: Mitchell W. Block 
Dee Dee Halleck 
Sol Rubin 
Frances Piatt 

Layout & Design: Bill Jones 

Typesetting: Josephine Coppa, Compositype Studio 



The viewpoints expressed herein do not necessarily reflect 
the opinion of the Board of Directors — they are as diversified 
as our member and staff contributors. 

We welcome your response in the form of letters, reviews. 

articles or suggestions. As time and space are of the essence 

we can't guarantee publication. Please send your material to- 

THE INDEPENDENT, 99 Prince St., NY, NY 10012. If you'd like 

your material returned to you please enclose a self-addressed 

stamped envelope. 

Application to mail at second-class postage rates is 

pending at New York. NY. 

COVER.Heartland, Richard Pearce, Beth Ferris, Annick Smith 



ROBIN WEBER Says Goodbye 

Farewell to Robin Weber who has served so selflessly as Direc- 
tor of Telecommunications Policy. 

Robin leaves us now to carry on her work for independents 
across the nation. Robin says goodbye in the following letter. 

It's hard to leave something that's been a major part of 
your life for over two years. Something that you've helped 
grow, that you believe in, that involves people you care 
about and issues you feel committed to. This is how I feel 
about the independent community. But this doesn't mean 
an end to my association with you. I'm still involved in a 
lot of the work of the Association, especially the advocacy 
efforts with public television. And I know that all of you 
will remain important in my life. But it feels right for me 
now to take the next step, whatever that will be. And it 
feels right for AIVF to stabilize and grow in new ways. It's 
a time of growth for both of us. I want to thank everyone 
who has supported me along the way, with encouragement 
and enthusiasm. 

My involvement with and commitment to the independent 
community, especially in developing the relationship of 
indies to public tv, remains steadfast. I am looking forward 
to finding a new situation in which I can contribute and 
build on my experience in this area, and one which will be 
as challenging and meaningful to me. 



IP 

Ud 



ffl 




CPB KNEADS ITS FUTURE 



INDEPENDENTS SQUARE OFF WITH CPB 6 

EXCLUSIVE! Secret Memo from PBS 10 

PROFILE: Ken Kobland Interviewed 1 1 

N.Y. PRESS HAILS INDEPENDENT FEATURES 14 
INDEPENDENT FEATURE CONFERENCE 16 

FOREIGN BUYERS MARKET 17 

FESTIVALS by Marc Weiss 21 

THE COLUMN by Rich Berkowitz 22 

AIVF CLASSIFIEDS 23 



Business by Mitchell Block and Film Clinic 
by Sol Rubin will return next issue. 



I remember when we started the advocacy work. Few of us 
had ever done "straight" politics. We didn't believe you 
could affect anything that way. Gradually we created an 
identity for ourselves, developed a voice and a level of 
public acceptance. We had to figure out the power struc- 
ture. We then realized that we needed the support of other 
groups. We're still learning. But I think it's clear that 
there's more than a self-interest at stake here for indies — 
we've become facilitators and monitors of public telecom- 
munications. The issue is more than getting a piece of the 
pie, but of enabling public participation in the decision- 
making process. The laws are changing. But it's our own 
energy that will make them work. And every month or so, 
a new local chapter of indies organizes someplace, from 
Minneapolis to Vermont, each a new link in an expanding 
network. I guess the biggest thing I've come to see is that 
we're not powerless. And that most importantly, we believe 
in ourselves. 

I am privileged to have been able to see the fruits of my 
labor in a very real way, through my work in the Associa- 
tion. 



-Robin Weber 



George Stevens Jr. Director 
The American Film Institute 
Washington, D.C. 20566 
Dear Mr. Stevens: 

I have just received the October, 1979, issue of "The 
Independent," the newsletter of the Foundation for In- 
dependent Video and Film, Inc. The newsletter is a fine 
publication full of useful information for independent video 
and film makers, certainly for those of us outside the East 
Coast hub of film and video activity. 

On page 20 of the newsletter, the AFI has a full-page adver- 
tisement, "AFI Reaches Out to Independents," and I can 
only assume that the FIVF included the ad with a spirit of 
levity. That the AFI would sponsor a conference on indepen- 
dent production is commendable, but as I read through the 
preliminary program, I wonder how many (if any) truly in- 
dependent video and film makers were consulted concerning 
the content and orientation of the conference. 

As Director of a Media Arts Center planted firmly in a 
"region," I find the choice of Stanley Kramer as a speaker 
on "regional feature filmmaking" ludicrous, considering his 
long-standing Hollywood affiliation. There are so many 
regional feature filmmakers who have managed to produce 



outside the Hollywood purview on a fraction of the budgets 
that Mr. Kramer has enjoyed — why not ask one or more of 
them to speak from experience? David Wolper comes from 
the same kind of mainstream background. He is hardly a 
producer from outside the "establishment," despite his im- 
pressive trackrecord of producing programs with a liberal 
point of view (in fact, considering Mr. Kramer's and Mr. 
Wolper's liberal inclinations I wonder if you're confusing 
"liberal" with "independent"). As for the side trips to 
Hollywood's glamorous tourist attractins, those must go 
without comment. 

I applaud the efforts of the AFI to involve and serve in- 
dependent video and film makers, but your first efforts 
should be to identify independents properly and try to 
understand their problems. This preliminary program 
shows no understanding of who independents are or what 
problems they face. It merely confirms the Hollywood/ com- 
mercial television bias that we have come to expect from the 
AFI. 

Gayla Jamison Executive Director 

IMAGE 

972 Peachtree Street 

Atlanta, Georgia 30309 



Dear DeeDee: 

Regarding the specific points about INDEPENDENT FOCUS 

raised in your letter: 

— The $35/minute rate for such an on-going series which 
receives no underwriting support, represents several times 
the local acquisition rate paid by other major public televi- 
sion stations in the system. Nor does this fee reflect the 
total budget devoted to the series since it does not include 
costs for cleaning and rejuvenating films, transferring 
films to tape for broadcast, providing cassettes to film- 
makers, producing on-air promos and slides, and editing 
logos. Further, since its inception, the rate per minute for 
INDEPENDENT FOCUS has increased 75 percent. Since our 
overall acquisitions budget has remained steady, we believe 
that the increase indicates the priority given to independent 
films. Regarding the $50/minute figure you quoted from 
my New York Times letter, that is still correct. However, 

I did not report that we paid $50/minute for all acquisi- 
tions but that we pay up to $50/minute depending upon 
several negotiated variables, such as rights and scheduling. 
Given that we feel all films in the INDEPENDENT FOCUS 
series should receive equal compensation, a single median 
fee has been established. 

— The fact that there is no specific projected promotion 
budget for INDEPENDENT FOCUS does not distinguish it 
from any other local series which does not have under- 
writing support. All local series without outside funding 
must draw upon the station's limited local promotion and 
advertising budget. Despite this limitation, INDEPENDENT 
FOCUS has had and will have press and promotional mail- 
ings, cassettes produced for press preview, on-air promos 
and promotion, and invitations to the press for screenings. 
INDEPENDENT FOCUS was and will be regularly listed 
with WNET's calendar advertising, highlighted with 
substantial photographs and copy in our monthly magazine 
(which has a circulation of approximately 310,000 homes) 



and highlighted in the program log and listings which 
THIRTEEN distributes to every major television editor in 
the metropolitan area. We will continue to encourage 
reviews and collaborate with filmmakers in achieving the 
broadest possible coverage for the films. Clearly it is in the 
station's interest as much as the independent producer's 
interest to receive as much press attention as possible for 
the programs presented. 

— Concerning the fee to panelists for INDEPENDENT 
FOCUS, as I'm sure you are aware, there is a long-standing 
precedent in non-profit organizations that professionals 
who agree to serve on policy-making bodies as senior ad- 
visors regularly do so for a small honorarium. While we 
felt it was very important to provide a fee to the INDEPEN- 
DENT FOCUS panelists, in order to maintain our priority of 
increasing the rate per minute to filmmakers within the 
prescribed INDEPENDENT FOCUS budget, it seemed highly 
appropriate to make that fee a modest one. 

Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to note that 
WNET/THIRTEEN has developed numerous collaborative 
models for working with independent producers. These col- 
laborations have involved INDEPENDENT FOCUS, as well 
as special productions, general acquisitions, a proposed 
national PBS series to showcase independent productions, 
and the enormous range of work accomplished by the 
Television Laboratory with the Artist- In-Residence pro- 
gram, Video and Film Review (VFR) and the Independent 
Documentary Fund/Non Fiction Television series. I am 
sure you will agree that these activities are significant and 
noteworthy. 



John Jay Iselin 

President 

WNET THIRTEEN 



WSBMk mimWM 



CPB Kneads Its Future 



by TAD TURNER 



llHilSimiltHIIIIHIIIHIIIlHIIIHBI9IHDmaillHMIHII!HlimilllHIIIIHIII1IHUIHIIIIHI8HBIimilltll 



IHIilin!lllBnenin«l<J!HIIIM!Uin!!ISmHlil>IBinfllUBI![«IIIIIBimi!IBI!< 



What's ahead for the December Board of Directors' 
meeting at The Corporation for Public Broadcasting? 
CPB will end the decade with major decisions affecting 
the role of minorities in public broadcasting, the nature 
of television program funding on the national level, and 
the share of funds allocated to support independent 
television production. The agenda for the December 
5th-6th meeting includes the reconvention of the 
Minority Task Force, a presentation by independent 
producers, discussion and final voting on both the Pro- 
gram Fund Priorities Statement and the Independent 
Producers Paper, and the selection of the Program 
Fund Director. Assessment of the implications of the 
policies resulting from this agenda will require a look at 
their history. 

The report of the Minority Task Force, entitled A For- 
mula for Change, was accepted by the Corporation's 
Board in November, 1978. At that time it was also de- 
cided that the Task Force should reconvene ayear later 
to evaluate the progress of affirmative action and equal 
opportunity within public broadcasting. This single- 
shot reconvention is scheduled for the December Board 
meeting. 



Many of the newer Board members, notably Jose 
Rivera, Michael Kelley and Geoffrey Cowan, have an- 
ticipated an angry response to the lack of progress that 
CPB has made in accomodating minorities. In August, 
Mr. Rivera revealed that the single affirmative action 
progress report made since November, 1978 was still in 
a draft form unsuitable for distribution. In September, 
he revealed that due to an omission in the Equal 
Employment Opportunity Statements printed since 
1977, no goals have been set for affirmative action, no 
timetables have been drawn up to realize these goals, 
and no departmental statistics have been gathered. At 
the recent October Board meeting, Mr. Cowan intro- 
duced a resolution mandating CPB to accomplish those 
Minority Task Force recommendations specific to the 
Corporation. These mandate that CPB find more money 
for minority training programs, provide a mechanism to 
evaluate and improve station-based training programs, 
and fund a satellite transponder solely for the distribu- 
tion of minority programs. 

Behind a one-shot return for evaluation is the assump- 
tion that the Board and CPB staff desire and are 
capable of expanding minority opportunities within 



public broadcasting. It is inconceivable that in the few 
hours during which the Task Force will be reconsti- 
tuted, they will be able to exert sufficient pressure for 
change. 

At the October meeting in New York, Board members 
Charles Roll, Sharon Rockefeller and Diana Dougan 
were shocked at the "expenditure" of 42% of 1979's 
Training Grant money during the last month of that 
fiscal year. Stating that money spent that quickly could 
not have been spent well, these Board members wanted 
some kind of "preventive measures" to keep this from 
happening again. What went unmentioned was that just 
a month earlier, it was explained to the Board that 
although not all Training Grant money had been spent 
for FY 1979, all of that money had been committed long 
ago. Also unmentioned was that most Training Grants 
go to facilitate the advancement of women and 
minorities. 

In October, these same Board members took the oppor- 
tunity to respond to the presentation of the Chicano 
Cinema Coalition concerning CPB's record of funding 
Hispanic programming. In the past ten years, only 1% 
of the programs funded have been Hispanic programs. 
Of the small number of Hispanic proposals funded for 
R & D or a pilot program, even fewer survive to be 
funded as a national series. To counteract this "drying 
up" of Hispanic programming within the system, Jesus 
Trevino and Carlos Penichet recommended that $2.5 
million dollars be set aside in FY 1980 to fund a na- 
tional series, two or more pilots, many R&D grants and 
mechanisms to further communication between CPB 
and Hispanic producers. Although the entire Board 
thanked the Chicano Cinema Coalition for their presen- 
tation, Ms. Rockefeller's and Ms. Dougan's flat asser- 
tion that set-asides don't work stood in stark contrast to 
Geoff Cowan's remark that perhaps CPB, like other 
government organizations, has a legal responsibility to 
make set-asides. 



Yet what may be the biggest stumbling block for affir- 
mative action and equal opportunity in public broad- 
casting has apparently been ignored by both the more 
concerned Board members and the Minority Task 
Force. This is the Human Resources Department itself, 
which seems understaffed and without authority. Hav- 
ing been reorganized many times, that Department's 
history is worth recounting. 



CPB Kneads Its Future —m—mm 

In 1975, CPB created an Office of Minority Affairs. Its 
head was a Special Assistant to the President, who was 
"charged with achieving a productive and mutually 
beneficial relationship between public broadcasting 
and its minority audience". By the spring of 1976, the 
Human Resources Department had been created, and a 
year later the CPB Board created a vice-presidency for 
Human Resources. During this period HRD was spoken 
of in terms that fit its new status as a full-fledged 
department. During 1977 and the first part of 1978, HRD 
"designed", "developed", and "carried out" a multitude 
of programs promoting increased opportunities for 
minorities and women. 

Since 1977, however, the department has literally taken 
a step backward. Thaddeus Garrett, who was elected 
Vice President of HRD in September, 1977 and was 
HRD's only vice president, resigned after serving only a 
year. The Department is once again an advisory office 
to the President, with a relative newcomer, Bob 
Washington, as Special Assistant. In addition, HRD's 
budget was cut 48% from FY 1979 ($554,000) to FY 1980 
($287,000). 

The reorganization of CPB into a Management Services 
Division and a Program Fund is nearing completion. 
The October Board meeting offered a fairly complete 
update on the progress made since August, when the 
Program Fund Resolution was passed. 

The Search Committee for the Program Fund Director 
has been established, chaired by Dr. William McGill, 
former head of the recent Carnegie Comission on 
Public Broadcasting. Advertisements for the position 
have been placed in 107 publications, and a mailing of 
2000, of which 600 represent independents and 
minorities, has been sent to individuals and organiza- 
tions. The deadline for application was October 29th, 
and selection began November 1st on a slate to be 
voted on in executive session at the December Board 
meeting. As of October, the committee had 46 applica- 
tions and 23 nominations, of which 10 were women and 
8 minorities. 

The first draft of the Program Fund Priorities Statement 
was presented to the Board at the October meeting for 
discussion. The staff of the Planning and Research 
Department has also compiled a gigantic document for 
the Board, detailing the Corporation's recent program- 
ming policy and practice. There is also a separate docu- 
ment covering the use of panels in other federal fund- 
ing agencies. 

The Program Fund Priorities Statement states the 
following as goals: Public television should of fer diverse 
programming of high quality. Public television should 
support innovative and controversial programming. 
Although the audience should not be the principal 
determinant in program decisions, public television 
should build its audience and serve all Americans. 
Public television must fulfill its educational role. 

With respect to the mechanics of program funding, 
CPB will create a systematic proposal solicitation and 
review process. CPB-funded producers must comply 
with the eligibility and monitoring requirements set in 
part by the Public Telecommunications Financing Act 



IBIPHIIIiaiUIHIIIMIII1HKI!HlllinilllHU)IHHUHSIHHIIIHIil!HHinSI1HIIIUilMIHWnailim 

of 1978. Finally, CPB will adopt a procedure to evaluate 
the results of its grants. 

Board discussion of the Priorities Statement revealed 
two prevailing attitudes. The first was best expressed 
by President Robben Fleming, who said that it was dif- 
ficult to find the right balance between specificity and 
generality in the Priorities Statement. Fleming feels 
that too specific a document strips the Director of the 
expertise for which he or she was hired in the first 
place. The second attitude, held by many of the newer 
members, is that the first draft is an "apple pie" docu- 
ment and needs to be a much more specific mandate. 

The October Board meeting also revealed the nature of 
the $5 million in "Frozen Funds" for FY 1980. The Pro- 
gram Fund Director was to take office this fall, and 
these funds were originally set aside in the spring of 
1979 for his use. As the action on the Program Fund 
was delayed, programs already within the system came 
up for required funding. These programs have been 
funded, and the funds "frozen" for the Director's use 
have now diminished to $1.6 million. Kathleen Nolan 
asked whether this situation had been explained, as a 
courtesy, to independent producers. She never received 
an answer to her question. One might ask why the re- 
mainder of FY 1980's funds could not have been un- 
frozen in August. 

It was decided then that the director would take office 
in January of 1980, and would have the early forward 
commitments for FY 1981 to deal with immediately. In- 
dependents could then have been told that there was 
$1.6 million in uncommitted funds at CPB. As it stands, 
this uncommitted money will probably go to PBS and 
NPR to enhance their election coverage. Because CPB 
programming staff refused to consider new proposals 
due to the frozen funds, there is nothing to compete 
with the possibility of giving the NPR/PBS joint pro- 
posal this extra money. 

The present danger at the Corporation is the close iden- 
tification of the "small independent producer" with the 
one-shot, low-budget documentary. When the subject 
of independents has come up at recent Board 
meetings, it has been followed by the statement that 
CPB has no present policy concerning single-shot pro- 
grams. 

CPB also seems to be developing a version of the 
Revolving Documentary Fund as a competition for pro- 
gram funding. Coupled with widespread solicitation, 
this may be how small independents will enter the PTV 
market. 

December's Board meeting will decide how programs 
are funded for at least the next two years. The 
reorganization at CPB is a removal of the Board from 
programming decisions, not necessarily a reworking of 
the entire funding scheme. The generality of the Pro- 
gram Fund Priorities Statement will be accompanied by 
an equally general paper on independents. This gener- 
ality will serve to concentrate power in the hands of the 
Program Fund Director, or functionally preserve the 
status quo. The fate of independent programming on 
public television will depend on the interests and 
capabilities of the Program Fund Director, imimui 



MIEM aJMIMI 



CPB Pays aVisit 



DISCUSSION OF CPB "DRAFT PROPOSAL" ON THE ISSUE OF INDEPENDENTS 



AND PUBLIC TELEVISION THE KITCHEN 

*|||BIIIHIIIB!ll8BllilB™«lfflHI)IIB»l»BllilBIIIBBIIIIIBIB"IIIMII«"'IIB"l«l"""»"l" 111 '™ 111 " 

Present: George Stein and Steve Symonds from the 
Corporation for Public Broadcasting and about 50 
independents 

Transcribed and edited from hard-to-hear cassettes by 
Dee Dee Halleck. 

Jack Willis: I worked at Channel 13 in 1972. I was the 
first program manager under Jay Iselin. I was in charge 
of local programming. We had three million for the com- 
munity alone. That money was taken away after the sec- 
ond year of 51st State for lots of very obvious political 
reasons. What replaced it was national programming. 
The station was going after national bucks. For the first 
four years of its existence, every program idea that 
came on the air that was new had been done by NET 
before it was dismantled. Once the station co-op was 
set up, what you had was a schedule that basically 
looks the same year after year after year. The stations 
with finite dollars, who feel that they are vulnerable, 
exist as bureaucracies by doing nothing except buying 
the same programs over and over. So there is no new 
money, no new talent and no new ideas coming into the 
system. It is self-perpetuating. It became easier to buy 
Masterpiece Theatre than to do a documentary on 
Newark, which might frighten Prudential or something. 

Two events give some promise and an offer of some 
change, and I think they're the most important things 
that have happened in public television in the last ten 
years. One is the Minority Task Force Report; the other 
is the new Public Telecommunications Funding Bill, 
which orders that certain amounts of money be set 
aside for independents. The Minority Report is obvious- 
ly important: if you can change the faces of the people 
who are on the boards of PTV stations, if you can 
change the faces of the general managers and the pro- 
grammers, you'll get different kinds of programming. 
But that's not going to happen overnight. I'm not so 
sure it's going to happen at all, given the situation. But 
it's something that we have to fight for — to try to bring 
about those changes. 

Until it does happen, it seems to me that the most im- 
portant thing we've got is the independent television 
community. Congress was reacting to the lack of diver- 
sity and talent and new ideas when they enacted that 
bill. The question is how to distribute the money in a 
way that takes advantage of the diversity of our culture, 
and the talent that is available. 

What I'm concerned about is that CPB will do what I 
consider the easy way out (and that would be death to 
independents), and that would be to give the money to 



OCTOBER 16, 1979 

■inBiimnniiiaiiiBiniBniiiBiiiiBiiiiBiiHiiiBiiiiiBiiiBiiiiBiiinHUBiinMuxMB 
the stations and to media centers and to different 
groups around the country. That would fragment the 
money. 

George Stein: Up to that point, I found no disagree- 
ment in anything you said. You have a little better 
sense of history on some of these things than I do. But 
on the subject that we're going to give this money to 
the stations — that's not what we're going to do. 
Jack Willis: My fear is that if any of this money goes to 
the stations, we'll run into the same problems we had 
before: we'll have to deal with people who are not sen- 
sitive to our needs, who do not have a philosophy or a 
vision of what public television could be, who feel that 
they're vulnerable, so they won't take risks, who won't 
deal with controversy, who will stay as apolitical as 
they are right now. I think that CPB should distribute 
the money, all of it, through peer panels. Independents 
should distribute it to independents. There would then 
be a rough sense of accountability. 
George Stein: But if we put the bag of money into an 
independent producer's hand and he or she wishes to 
work with a station and use their facilities, that's up to 
that person. But if we give the money to the stations, 
and they happen to use independent producers, I cer- 
tainly have no intention to use that — 
Jack Willis: Then we can read this document as mean- 
ing the money goes to independents? 
George Stein: Now when you total everything up at the 
end of the year, and draw a line and say that's the sub- 
total, I see nothing wrong with saying, in addition to 
that, so much money that went to the stations went to 
independents. We've had several grants like Media 
Probes and Topper Carew that went to independents, 
and if they are using the station facilities, that's an 
arrangement that they've made on their own. Now let 
me ask you a question. I give a grant to PBS — say that 
four million we talked about — and PBS spends it 
directly with independent producers. Would you or 
would you not count that? 

Jack Willis: No. I would not count that, nor would I 
count money that's going to the stations for acquisi- 
tions. I do not consider any money going to the stations 
or PBS as money going to independents. Nor do I con- 
sider money going to CTW or Norman Lear as money 
going to independents. 

George Stein: Now there's a lot of people who will 
disagree with you. When it comes to defining what kind 
of an animal he is, why should Norman Lear be any dif- 
ferent than the people in this room? Just because he's 
successful? 



CPB PAYS A VISIT — "" 

Jack Willis: No. Because Norman Lear represents a 
certain kind of programming — 

Peter Adair: The fact that you can't define the dif- 
ference between us and Norman Lear — to use that as 
the basis — 

George Stein: Oh, I can find some differences, but the 
difference I won't describe is that he's not an indepen- 
dent producer. 

Peter Adair: That's an insult! 

George Stein: You misunderstood. I apologize. Up to 
now public broadcasting has been a club, and public 
broadcasting has taken public money and spent it 
among themselves. We've got to change that, or at 
least have a better record than we've had up to now. But 
when you go outside of public broadcasting, I maintain 
that it's an open marketplace for whomever wants to 
play. 

Jack Willis: The differences are so obvious. Norman 
Lear and Joan Cooney have the resources and money 
available to spend on researchers and staffers, to 
spend weeks and months to put together a proposal. 
They can also fly back and forth across the country. In- 
dependent producers can't do that for their individual 
programs. 

George Stein: They (the big independents) haven't 
done it yet. 

Tad Turner: That's because there hasn't been any 
money. They will. 

Jack Willis: Some of them have. Lorimar has, and 
Norman Lear has, because they asked me to work on 
their projects. Norman Lear can say, I can get you a 10 
or 12 (rating) while those independents — 

George Stein: Let me tell you what I think our priorities 
are — 

Jack Willis: Let me finish because this is important to 
all of us. You've got to make that distinction: there are 
independent producers and there are independent pro- 
ducers. We're one kind and those other people are 
another kind. 

Steve Symonds: That distinction was made in the Con- 
ference Report, and this draft proposal is an attempt to 
recognize that. 

Jack Willis: Well, that's not what we're hearing. 

John Rice: CTW makes a large part of their budget on 
toy sales, and Joan Ganz Cooney holds WNET board 
meetings at CTW. 

George Stein: I think that it's unlikely in the fore- 
seeable future that you'll see large portions of CPB's 
program budget being spent on CTW. Now, I cannot 
predict whether the big Hollywood producers aren't go- 
ing to get a large hunk of that change somewhere down 
the line. As I see it, CPB, with its precious little 
resources, is in the business of getting the best damn 
programming on the air that it can for the best price for 
everybody. 

Jack Willis: No. That's not CPB's business. I think that 
CPB's business is getting the best damn programming 
that's not seen anywhere else. 

George Stein: OK. Yeah. 



fiiBiiiHiimiiMiniHiiiHiiHnMiMininiiHiiiiHiimiiiiiBiiiBnBniHiiBiiiBiiinui 

Jack Willis: And I think the people in this room make 
that kind of programming. 

George Stein: I think by virtue of our being here you 
can see that we do intend to take advantage of some 
talent that hasn't emerged, at least from CPB's ranks. 
We're going to foster that. But there's that funding pro- 
cess, and that's not enjoyed by all. We might fund an R 
and D, and if it gets through, we might fund a pilot, and 
if it gets through, we might fund a series. You can fail 
anywhere along the way and it may not be because of 
your own fault. 

Jack Willis: We're saying that we should be allowed in 
that process. A lot of us have had that kind of ex- 
perience. We need to help develop that process, to 
make the decisions. Otherwise we're just ghettoized. 
We're not changing anything. 

Mary MacArthur: What we would like to see is a diver- 
sity of programming, and making a commitment to a 
panel system is one way to ensure that. What has to be 
emphasized is that you have to treat that panel as a 
decisive body. In order to ensure diverse decisions, the 
panel itself must be diverse — diverse in approach to 
art and diverse geographically, ethnically and sexually 
as well. It takes a lot of research and checking to get 
responsible and imaginative people. The board (CPB) 
should concern itself with procedural questions. The 
decisions as to the quality of the programs should be 
up to the panel. The board should review the fairness of 
the selection of the panelists and the action of the 
panel. However, I sense a reluctance by CPB to give 
away program selection authority. Everyone has com- 
plaints about panels, but I think that finally if you can 
feel that you're being reviewed by the people who 
understand you, understand your problems, understand 
your audience, the decisions are much more easily ac- 
cepted. 

George Stein: The way I think it will work at CPB is that 
a panel will screen and select from a bunch of pro- 
posals. For the most part that is the way it will work, 
but it'll be the program director who would have final 
judgment. I don't think it's likely that that person would 
fly in the face of the panel. All those things like panels, 
advisory committees, proposal evaluations, in their ac- 
tual execution are a messy human process, but we 
clearly intend to do it. 

Mary MacArthur: If you have panels producing deci- 
sions that might be reversed, it's going to alienate the 
process. You have to trust that panel, even to its own 
adoption of the budget procedures. There will need to 
be some safeguard to see that the panel's decisions are 
respected. 

George Stein: All the same, the law itself says that 
we're still responsible for the funds that are spent — to 
see that they are spent responsibly. That's about the 
only instance where anyone would fly in the face of a 
panel. 

Steve Symonds: We went ahead and produced Paul 
Jacobs and the Nuclear Gang in the face of a lot of con- 
troversy. 

Jack Willis: Paul Jacobs always comes up because it's 
the exception. We want more shows like that so it's not 
the exception. 



CPB PAYS A VISIT — — — ■ 

Steve Symonds: But if the stations won't run it — 
Jack Willis: There's the problem. As soon as you say, 
"We're not going to get money from Congress if we do 
programs like this," or "The stations won't run it," 
you're not going to hire any of us. We're saying that if 
you have a panel of independent producers, you're not 
going to have that kind of thing influencing decisions. 
Our jobs aren't at stake. We want to make programs. 
George Stein: It's not that we tend to avoid controver- 
sy. It's just that we tend to run with the success we've 
got. If we had 200 million in the hopper, sure, we'd take 
some chances on stuff. 

Alan Jacobs: The problem is: who will make the selec- 
tions? Those (cautious) elements are always going to 
be there. Additional money won't make the difference if 
it's the same people making decisions who've been 
making decisions all the way along. We're trying to find 
a way that's different from the past, and which brings 
the input of the independent community. 
Peter Adair: I'm not that up on what's been going on 
between CPB and AIVF. Partly that's because I'm from 
California and it's harder to find out things out there, 
and partly because I just finished working on a project 
that took seven years, and partly because this all makes 
me absolutely crazy. In trying to decide what to say, I 
asked AIVF what tone would they suggest, and they 
said "conciliatory". I would like to act in a conciliatory 
manner in something that is obviously so important to 
us. I say this because I can't act that way, because 
these things make me absolutely furious. I'm torn be- 
tween seeing you CPB people as the enemy, or as the 
only friends I have. That's a difficult position to be in. 
I would like, however, to speak about why I think that it 
is essential that individual projects get funded and not 
only series. I speak as someone who worked as a series 
producer at a station for two years (KQED), so I'm aware 
of the problems of programming, building audiences 
for independent shows, promoting one-time specials. 
Some balance must be found between the needs of the 
system and some almost anarchistic freedom that is 
needed for creativity. A number of programs that I have 
seen have really changed my life, and I think the really 
good ones do that. The ones that do invariably come 
from situations in which the person had the freedom 
to do as he or she chose. 

I know that the film I worked on, Word Is Out, has 
changed tens of thousands of people's lives. So I'd like 
to talk about the history of that film. While I was on 
staff at KQED, I tried to propose that they produce that 
show. I got nowhere. I realized that I wouldn't do any 
work there that was meaningful to me. About the same 
time, they realized that I wasn't doing anything that was 
useful to them, and we parted company. I then spent 
three years raising money. There was no work anywhere 
that was a positive or accurate portrayal of the homo- 
sexual community. Oh, there were a few Susskind pro- 
grams with five psychiatrists and two drag queens. 
What I thought was needed was some program that 
talked to members of that community specifically 
about their lives. I'm not talking about a small com- 
munity; I'm talking about twenty million people — 10% 
of the population and 20-30% of the public television 
viewers. Nothing had ever been done for them. 

8 



When it was finished, we got the unheard-of precedent 
of having it theatrically released first. Not that it made 
any money — it lost, but it was therefore promoted. 
When it was finally on the air, people could then see it. 
And they did. It got 4 and 4.5 ratings. It did extremely 
well. There was a need that I foresaw there and the film 
was structured and produced in such a way that it 
would meet that need. There's a long distance between 
having a free poetic vision and the execution of that vi- 
sion. At some point, reality has to rear its ugly head. In 
my case, I try to pay as little attention to reality as long 
as I possibly can. Obviously CPB can't spend all of its 
money on independent single-shot shows. It isn't televi- 
sion and there are other things I want to watch anyway. 
Is 10% enough, is 20% enough? I don't know. It's a 
philosophical question — outside of all the political 
ramifications — that has to be thought out. 
Bob Ashley: I'm a composer and I'm interested in the 
idea of television as a theater for my work. There's very 
little art on television — just a little bit of jazz. But it 
seemed likely and reasonable that I should have access 
to that medium as a theatre. Of course it's so remote 
from any practical circumstances right now, that I don't 
even know what I'm doing up here. Whatever progress 
we've made to getting this work on has always been in 
the face of a terrible fear and apprehension that there 
was really no audience for it. But now I think it's ap- 
parent to everybody that there is. And the other excuse 
is that the work doesn't meet some sort of standards — 
technical standards, political standards, mechanical 
standards — that it doesn't look like television. But I 
was hoping that when we tried to solve the problem of 
the independents that we wouldn't define as indepen- 
dents the people who make programs that look exactly 
like television. My programs won't look like television. 
(Laughter.) 

Jaime Barrios: PBS has never shown any consistent in- 
terest in dealing seriously with minority issues. Most of 
the time the programs that have been funded have 
avoided controversy. Most Latin and Black shows are 
soft culture; most are for children. Any discussion of 
Third World issues comes from Granada or BBC. Any 
American series that deals with relevant issues is 
turned down. The project I worked on (HEW) was for 
teenagers. Any time we tried to get into any so-called 
controversial area — like history, for example — the 
reaction of the funders was horror. The only programs 
that have dealt with Third World affairs, issues that af- 
fect us all, have come from sources outside this coun- 
try. Right now I'm working on a project funded by NEH 
on the economic development of Puerto Rico. Right at 
this time NEH has been willing to fund many projects 
that deal with important issues. Within this country 
there are writers and directors and producers who are 
perfectly able to undertake projects and produce impor- 
tant films. There is a whole generation out there who 
could do it very well. And I would like to know how CPB 
will support them. 

George Stein: I think that CPB is similar to NEH and 
HEW in that there are people there who don't know the 
story you're telling nearly as well as you do. Oftentimes 
it's not that it's controversial, it's that they don't even 
know enough to know whether it is or not. You talk 
about the political situation in Puerto Rico. Most 



GP6 PAYS A VISIT '■""■'■™" | "i | "™" H """™ 11 ™ 

Anglos find it hard to understand that. I think it is ob- 
vious that our society in general — certainly CPB 
because we're under a microscope — well, the heat is 
on to do something more than we've done. There are 
three areas we need to concentrate on: employment, 
programming and membership. We're concerned. We 
know our record isn't so good. There are certain 
reasons for that. We've made some attempts. They've 
been feeble, I'll admit, but don't feel singled out. Some 
of our other attempts in a lot of areas have been feeble. 

Now, as to how the panels should work. Should we 
have a panel specifically for minorities? 
Jaime Barrios: These issues aren't just minority 
issues. Take the film we are working on — economic 
development in Puerto Rico. To what extent is it a 
minority problem? It has to do with economics; it has to 
do with modes of governing; it has to do with foreign 
policy; it has to do with a host of social and political 
issues in the Third World. We need more than programs 
with a little music and culture. We need programs that 
deal with the variety of social issues that are at the 
center of minority problems. 

George Stein: Obviously we'd like to do better in that 
area. But unless there is a dramatic change in our ap- 
propriations process and our appropriations philo- 
sophy, we're likely to do no better and probably will do 
worse in keeping up with inflation. In the foreseeable 
future, PTV's funding is not going to go up. If all these 
ideas we've got and all the special funds and panels 
were in place tomorrow, I still would say that out of the 
people in this room, maybe four will make it and the 
rest of you won't. That's the sheer numbers. You're 
always going to have that problem. 

Pablo Figueroa: On the question of whether there 
should be a piece of the pie set aside for minorities, or 
whether minorities should be a part of the whole pie, 
my experience on the New York State Council on the 
Arts has been that ghettoizing funds has worked 
against minorities. We should be allowed to be part of 
the whole process and compete for the larger funds as 
well, and not just for children's and special interest 
projects. A lot of us aren't interested in doing program- 
ming for children. I'm involved in doing a feature movie 
that doesn't deal with children — it's about Puerto 
Rican culture. But I'd like to think that it could speak to 
anybody, not just Puerto Ricans and not just children. 

A few weeks ago I saw a notice on page 49 of Variety 
announcing a minority fund of a million dollars at CPB. 
I called a few friends who are producers and no one had 
heard of this. We called CPB and got the run-around, 
and eventually got the information from AIVF. I think 
AIVF itself has sent out more copies of the application 
to minority producers than PBS. My feeling is that this 
fund is expected to buy off minorities, but a million 
doesn't come near answering the needs of the com- 
munity. 

George Stein: When we decided to establish a program 
fund of about 25% (we're short of that by a few bucks), 
we looked around to see how we were going to do that. 
We worked a tradeoff with PBS — they have picked up 
the costs of the interconnect — in exchange, we would 
return four million to PBS and the stations. But one 
stipulation was that one million be set aside for 
minorities. In addition to that, out of the 24 million, 



IIMIHIIIIHIIIIBIIIIIBIIIHHIIIiaillHIIIIIHIUIIBIIBHIinillllHIIIIBIiHIIfllBIIIHIIBIHHIIIHllH 

there is a series that Topper Carew is doing for 1.3 
million. There is a series we will recommend to the 
Board tomorrow that would give 1.7 million to a minori- 
ty program, and there's another that I'm forgetting. 
When you add those up, and when you include advertis- 
ing and promotion monies for minorities, I came up 
with a figure of conceivably as much as 50% in 1980 of 
that 23 million (sic) being spent on minority programs. 

John Rice: The problem with the notice for the million 
fund was that it went mostly to PBS station managers, 
not to the minority community. I think that the deadline 
should be extended on this, because most of the peo- 
ple I talked with didn't even hear about it until it was 
too late to get a proposal ready. 

Karen Thomas: It is possible that PBS can extend that 
deadline. I know the deadline for the program fair was 
extended because we didn't get very many proposals. 
Vicki Gholson: If the information on these things is 
sent to the stations — the majority of minority pro- 
ducers are not at the stations. They have no means of 
finding out that information. What you are doing is mak- 
ing certain people privileged to that information: people 
who already have established a working relationship 
with stations. The reluctance to get that information 
out can be translated as distrust. 

George Stein: Well, I'd like to get the names and ad- 
dresses of those in this room just so we have every- 
body. I'll take any list I can get. I'd like to see a Watts 
line installed at CPB so we can communicate on these 
subjects. 

Dee Dee Halleck: But how long does it take to get a 
telephone? Henry Loomis even testified in Congress 
that one of the things he was going to do for indepen- 
dents was to put in a Watts line. 

George Stein: Well, I never heard of the idea before. I 
just now suggested it. 

Dee Dee Halleck: We suggested it three and a half 
years ago. 

George Stein: Well, I'd like to see it happen. 

Marc Weiss: Perhaps you should consider the 
possibility of having people from the independent com- 
munity directly involved and employed by CPB in Wash- 
ington — two or three people who would be nominated 
by AIVF and other national organizations, who would be 
directly involved in day-to-day discussions and day-to- 
day policy development. They would take on the respon- 
sibility of getting the information out. 
George Stein: Would you want that person inside of 
CPB? Steve Symonds here used to be an independent 
producer. Should it be outside like at a Center for In- 
dependents? 

Alan Jacobs: If your hidden question is continued ac- 
countability to the independent community, the posi- 
tion could be a yearly position. 

George Stein: But then they're not really trainable. 

Alan Jacobs: I'm not sure that training is what we want. 
(Laughter.) 

George Stein: But it takes time to find out what's going 
on there. 

Ralph Arlyck: Because so much changes at CPB? 

George Stein: Hell yes — tobeCOntinuediwi 



FROM: Bob Thomas 

DATE: August 20, 1979 

The attached demonstrates the energy and enthusiasm 
which Independent Producers are seeking to dip into public 
broadcasting funds. It is obviously essential that we 
counter their efforts. 



TO: Managers 

Steve Salyer 
Chris Philpot 

FROM: Bob Thomas 

DATE: August 13, 1979 

As you requested, I attended the August 10 meeting in NYC 
of the New York State Electronic Media Organization 
(NEMO) — a group of independent producers and such like. 
I found myself aghast at the crap the independents have 
managed to pile on our doorstep in Washington and the ex- 
tent to which they have brainwashed Congress and the 
CPB. 

Before getting into that a word about the meeting itself. 
There were 24 attendees who were there, as a follow up to 
a June 9 meeting in Syracuse, to establish a formal 
organization of independent producers in New York State 
— NEMO. The ostensible purpose of NEMO is "to address 
common needs of non-profit groups in New York State 
engaged in electronic media and to further the development 
of this field." Their actual purpose is to get their mitts on 
CPB funds — as much as possible — and their products 
aired over PTV stations. And the CPB staff (and probably 
Fleming) intends to help them. 



You should be aware if you are not that groups similar to 
NEMO are being organized throughout the country. To 
date, seminars on organizing such groups have been held 
in 81 cities across the U.S. of A. A major pressure group, 
an industry dedicated to living in part off federal funds in- 
itially appropriated for public broadcasting, is being 
created before our eyes. CPB, as I said, will assist in this 
process. 

To some extent CPB has no choice. The '78 law says that a 
"substantial amount" of federal money must go to in- 
dependents. Neither the law nor the legislative history 
sheds any light on what constitutes a "substantial 
amount" nor for that matter what constitutes an "indepen- 
dent producer." CPB is now wrestling with these and allied 
questions. 

CPB's proposed answers are, to understate it, alarming. 
Two speakers at the meeting were David Stewart, CPB's 
guru for independents, and Steve Simons of CPB. They 
outlined what will be the staff recommendations to the CPB 
board at their August meeting. They are: 

1. CPB's definition of an independent producer: "Any in- 
dividual or organization not exclusively under contract 
to or employed by a station or a subsidiary of a station." 
This definition does not appear to be helpful to WNET's 
Television Laboratory or WXXI's TV Workshop. 

2. The legislative history of the '78 bill expresses special 
concern for "small" independent producers and so does 
the CPB staff. But what is "small"? The staff seeks "a 
definition by results;" that is, "producers who have 
achieved limited visibility and recognition in the market 
place." It follows that if their work is doggy enough that 
nobody wants it they're small. The worse it is the 



10 



CONFIDENTIAL 



smaller, and presumably more fundable, they are. Bye 
bye Grant Tinker. And CTW?? 

3. "Substantial amount." Stewart and Simons define it as 
being 35% to 45% of FY '81 program funds, or between 
$9-12 million of the $27 million reserved for program- 
ming. A real bite! 

As part of CPB's efforts to promote the interests of "small" 
"independent producers" with "substantial amounts" of 
what used to be public broadcasting funds, Stewart and 
Simons are exploring the following: 

1. What essentially are round robins with independents 
(although that term wasn't used) so that the in- 
dependents will have "the same opportunities for discus- 
sion that the stations have always had." 

2. Attaching conditions to production grants requiring sta- 
tions to work with independents (small, bad ones no 
doubt). 

3. Inclusion of independents on panels to screen program 
proposals. 

4. Incentives for distributing works of independents in the 
marketplace: targeting promotional funds, incentives for 
stations to screen works of small independents, etc. 



/ 



art of the horror of this whole baleful business is that a 
corporation set up to promote the interests public broad- 
casting must now by law (and inclination) promote the in- 
terests of non-broadcasters. And we, through the ineptitude 
of our national organization and our own inattention, have 
let this happen. 

The bottom line, it seems to me, is to have maximum federal 
dollars go by law directly to the stations. Heaven would be 
100% to the stations minus the cost of a crew of accountants 
to handle the transactions. This whole question must have 
our urgent attention before Congress gets back to public 
broadcasting in January, a scant four months away. 

Jonathan Rice, another speaker, urged the group to attend 
their local station's open meetings and "ride herd on what 
they're doing." "We're in competition with stations for pro- 
duction money and they will favor their own producers." 
His group, he announced, had lobbied hard for the sunshine 
regulations and for community advisory boards. 

There was more, but that's the gist of it and it makes our 
Washington task that much clearer and more urgent. To 
emphasize this point, here's a final word from David Stewart: 
"Independent producers now occupy a special place in 
CPB's thinking. Bob Fleming feels that independents should 
receive a dramatic push from CPB even if there were no 
such requirements in the law." 



Bob Thomas is Director of The Association of Public Broad- 
casting Stations of N.Y. His communique to managers of 
public television stations was passed to us by a friend. 




FRAME, Ken Kobland, 1976 



Ken Kohland is an independent filmmaker living in New 
York. He has been making films since 1972 when he 
began working with Flip McCarthy on a film about a 
magician's ceremony at Houdini's grave. In their sec- 
ond production Kobland and McCarthy filmed Spalding 
Gray and the Performance Group in Sam Shepard's The 
Tooth of Crime. Kobland's relationship to contemporary 
theatre and performance continues to the present. 

Kobland's personal work as a filmmaker combines 
many of the elements of his background in theater and 
literature, and his work in still photography that 
brought him to film in the first place. These works in- 
clude FRAME, 10 minutes, 1976; VESTIBULE (In Three 
Parts), 24 minutes 1977-78; PICKING UP THE PIECES, 
11 minutes, and NEAR AND FAR/NOW AND THEN, 29 
minutes, 1979. All are in color. 

In each work optical printing with stationary or moving 
mats, subtitles, spoken dialogue, and musical tracks 
are combined to form Kobland's unique filmic image. 
These works have been described as pseudo- or proto- 
narratives since they use standard narrative elements 



INTERVIEWED 



but in unusual ways and contexts. At other times they 
have been discussed as Structuralist or "Avant Garde" 
films because of Kobland's use of conventions typical 
of the work of, say, Michael Snow or Hollis Frampton or 
others. But as the following interview shows, Kobland's 
use of such conventions is only a part of his overall 
aesthetic. Kobland moves one further step back and 
takes a wider, more expansive view of his own tech- 
niques not only in relation to other filmmakers but in 
relation to the entire breadth of our culture. Kobland's 
is a much more emotional, expressive approach 
strangely mixed with his passion for manipulating the 
filmic image. 

B.J. Near the end of your film Vestibule we hear Bobby 
Vinton singing his classic 50's rendition of "I'm Mr. 
Lonely." Are you Mr. Lonely? 

K.K. I don't understand what that means. Is that a 
psychological question? 

B.J. It was meant to be a joke. 



11 



K.K. In that case, yes, of course. I'm Mr. Lonely. 

B.J. In Vestibule the song is heard behind the image of 
a particularly distorted nude man moving through a 
hallway in an equally strange manner, sort of throwing 
his body in all directions at once. 

K.K. It's manipulated by extreme step printing. A friend 
said it looked like a man taking a shower in a hallway. 

B.J. Did you feel the song "I'm Mr. Lonely" fit the 
strange image? 

K.K. Yes, there's something mad about the song. 

B.J. The Bobby Vinton song then mixes with an aria 
from a classical opera. 

K.K. It mixes in and lays over a Caruso aria, "Una fur- 
tiva Logrima" it's called. 

B.J. And you feel that the aria relates to the Bobby Vin- 
ton song. 

K.K. Sure. The aria translates to "A Furtive Tear". The 
way they're both done is similar. The wailing, the con- 
tralto (laughs). The Bobby Vinton is very operatic, the 
modern vernacular and all that. 

B.J. You think they're very much alike in image as well. 

K.K. Sure, it's the hidden tear and . . . Oh, it's so 
cheap. It's such a cheap shot. 

B.J. You think it is? 

K.K. Oh yeah. 

B.J. But you wanted it that way? 

K.K. Yes. I intended it as a joke. 

B.J. But you treat the two songs with great fondness 
as well, and you blend them perfectly in terms of form 
and content with the image, then undercut them by 
allowing them to become a cheap joke. 

K.K. It's both. 

B.J. You undercut the artfulness of the combination of 
sound track and image. You did that in Frame as well, 
but in a much more subtle way. 

K.K. A little bit, but Frame is much more romantic and 
nostalgic, a tearjerker. That's the way I tried to cut it. 

B.J. In Frame you take footage shot from inside a car 
as you drive down a deserted Cape Cod road lined with 
summer cottages, and manipulate it in a very logical 
manner with an optical printer. It seems to me that 
many people would think the film was a rather formal 
exercise, a serious structural film. 

K.K. No, I think it's sentimental. Don't you? 

B.J. Yes, but I wouldn't be able to explain why. 

K.K. I think it's the loneliness, the sense of isolation, 
desolation, the empty cottages, the empty road. 

B.J. I've heard it described as didactic. 

K.K 

B.J. 

tic at the same time? 
diametrically opposed? 

12 



K.K. No, I don't think so. I think you can have the two 
as ideas at once, and I think that in the extremes of 
them there's a third "feeling" better than the other two. 
It is didactic, but I felt it was a necessary counterpoint 
to the enormous romanticism of the film. 

B.J. In Frame you logically and unemotionally 
manipulate the driving footage in six combinations of 
image within an image, and you point to them as 
specific manipulations with subtitles such as "The in- 
ner image is delayed." 

K.K. I manipulate them logically but not unemotionally. 
It was an image I loved, and in some ways it's about 
preserving it. It's a very nostalgic manipulation, that for 
me was very loving and involved. The structure came 
out of wanting to talk about the experience of being in 
that place. It's not an unemotional process. 

B.J. The subtitles don't seem a part of that expression. 

K.K. They are to draw the viewer out. Without them the 
film would be hypnotic, and pleasurable in a passive 
way. I'm more interested in it being disturbing. 




In a way it is. 

How can it be romantically sentimental and didac- 
Aren't those two states 



VESTIBULE, Ken Kobland, 1978 

B.J. Do you want the subtitles to make the structure 
more apparent? It's already visually self-explanatory. 

K.K. They just point. I don't think they're that obtrusive. 
I really wanted a third structure to be more apparent. 
Because the subtitles do a crucial thing. All but one of 
them describe the way the image was put together, but 
that exception is an invitation into the film in another 
way. That subtitles says "A gull is seen briefly between 
two of the cottages." It's an invitation to look into it. 
Every other subtitle says look on the surface. This says 
look into the image. 

B.J. Why does it come near the end of the film? 

K.K. Because I feel that the titles build up an expecta- 
tion, as the film might in the beginning, that it's all 
structure, so that I could undercut it with a very roman- 
tic image. I built it the other way too, so that the over- 



whelming romanticism of the repeated lonely road and 
the street-noise track is undercut with the didacticism. 

B.J. Then the answer to my earlier question about the 
film's didactic nature is that you intended the film to 
appear didactic as a setup for your sentimental state- 
ment. 

K.K. Sure, it's my romantic joke. There's one of these 
jokes in every film. 

B.J. Then you're defining a kind of cultural balance be- 
tween a kind of scientific. . . 

K.K. Essentially trashy Romanticism and trashy Struc- 
turalism, (laughter) 

B.J. Our contemporary cultural mix. 

K.K. Yes. Greeting cards and concept art. 

B.J. But you love them both. 

K.K. Yes, I love them both. I feel like I trade in popular 
art. 

B.J. You think that conceptual art is a popular form? 

K.K. All the formalist ideas are "popular" ideas. 

B.J. Let's talk about Vestibule. It's a 24-minute film 
divided in three parts. The first part is shot from outside 
the building in which the second and third part take 
place. The footage in the first part is slowed way down 
by step printing so that figures seem to crawl across 
the screen. Then with subtitles you describe the action, 
such as "A man carries a vase", and there is the addi- 
tion of a story told in the subtitles. 

K.K. It's a quote from The Moviegoer by Walker Percy. 
It's about going from, as he says, vertical to horizontal 
search, from reading to walking. Then in a voice-over I 
personalize the Walker Percy by putting myself in his 
story. 

B.J. It fits you as a person? 

K.K. Yes, I like the story. 

B.J. Where's the joke? You said there was one in every 
film. 

K.K. Well, the most theatrically contrived joke's in the 
third part with the Bobby Vinton and all. But in the first 
part there's the same kind of thing happening, it's just 
very dry. The combination of the slow isolating move- 
ment and mundane subtitle descriptions against the 
eloquence of the Walker Percy lines about this pro- 
found change of life. 

B.J. What about your entry into the story? 

K.K. Possibly that's the joke. My entry is like with the 
personalized porn books you can send away for, with 
your own name set into the text. It's very matter-of-fact. 

B.J. Is that another Structuralist joke? 

K.K. Sure. Only it's very dry. This first part of the film is 
like a primer for the rest. It sets up the structuring and 
overlaying of texts and sounds and images. And 
especially it sets up the kind of disparity of the 
elements. 



B.J. Which causes them to be humorous. 

K.K. Sometimes. If the disparity is seen as grand 
enough. That is if they reverberate in the right way. 

B.J. Like in the end of the film. 

K.K. Yes. It's the most schmaltzy, almost slapstick. 

B.J. Bobby Vinton and Caruso blending together in a 
grand climax while a moving figure that looks like a 
Francis Bacon painting snakes across the screen. 

K.K. The elements are culturally disparate to the point 
of absurdity, plus there's a subtitle that says "A letter?" 
and a flashing green arrow that points to a crumpled 
piece of paper the figure picks up and tosses over his 
shoulder. The character in "I'm Mr. Lonely" doesn't get 
any letters. It's a cheap shot. 

B.J. In the first section of the film you personalize the 
story. Is there a personal story in the last section? 

K.K. They're all personal stories, in that all the 
elements are about personal choices. 

B.J. Yes, but in particular. . . 

K.K. Well, It's not that I don't get a lot of letters, it's 
just that I can imagine a condition of not getting a lot of 
letters that's very attractive in its hysteria. 

B.J. You're Mr. Lonely. 

K.K. I'm Mr. Lonely. 

B.J. In each of your films you set up disparate cultural 
elements, one of which is your own art, and in the mix- 
ture you undercut them all, as well as giving them a 
kind of loving emphasis. Aside from the humor, what do 
you expect from that? 

K.K. Well, if I had to say, and I guess I do, I'd say think- 
ing and feeling, not separately but at the same time. I 
don't believe they have to be separate. 




PICKING UP THE PIECES, Ken Kobland, 1978 



13 



NewYork Press Hails 
Independent Features 

Producers meet for three day Conference 



The American Independents Festival, jointly sponsored by 
The Film Fund and the Film Society of Lincoln Center, took 
place at the Paramount Theater in New York September 22 
through 27. Over that six-day period, this special sidebar event 
of the 17th Annual New York Film Festival showcased 15 
American independent features, six of which are new and 
unreleased in New York and nine of which were older indepen- 
dent "classics". The program was an overwhelming success, 
both in terms of box-office (the Paramount was sold out for all 
evening performancers and the box office grossed about 
$20,000 ) and in terms of press coverage,which was particular- 
ly good, with favorable and often glowing reviews of each of 
the new films from The New York Times and other major 
papers. The Midday Show, hosted by Bill Boggs on Metro- 
media, devoted an entire taping to the American Independents 
and WNET's City Edition also reviewed three of the new films 
in the program. 

These are the films that were shown, beginning with the older 
"classics", followed by the recent features, with excerpts 
from some of their reviews: 

THE COOL WORLD (1964) directed by Shirley Clarke, Pro- 
duced by Fred Wiseman 



TRASH (1970) directed by Paul Morrisey, Produced by Andy 
Warhol 

ICE (1970), directed by Robert Kramer, Produced by David 
Stone 

GLEN AND RANDA (1971), Directed by Jim McBride, Produced 
by Sidney Glazier 

BADLANDS (1973), directed by Terrence Malick, Produced by 
Edward Pressman 

KILLERS KISS (1955), Directed by Stanley Kubrick, Produced 
by Stanley Kubrick and Morris Bousel 

THE BRIG (1964), Directed by Jonas and Adolphas Mekas, Pro- 
duced by David Stone 

THE CRAZY QUILT (1966), Directed and Produced by John 
Korty 

SWEET SWEETBACK'S BAADASSSS SONG (1971), Directed 
by Melvin Van Peebles, Produced by Melvin Van Peebles and 
Jerry Gross 

The following excerpted reviews tell the story of their 
success. jQy p eretns 




A 

L 

A 

M 

B 

R 

I 

S 

T 

A 



Robert M. Young's "Alambrista!" ("The Illegal") is a small, gentle, 
beautifully made film about a subject that might, in more conventional 
hands, have received either harsher or more histrionic treatment. 
Without sentimentality or rhetoric, it follows a Mexican farmworker on 
his illegal journey into California, which he soon discovers is hardly the 
land of opportunity. 

Mr. Young, who made "Short Eyes" and the current "Rich Kids" after 
directing "Alambrista!" for public television, shows himself to be a 



superb cinematographer, not just because "Alambrista!" is handsome, 
but also because it adapts so readily to the large screen. Instead of 
seeming broadly detailed or full of empty spaces, as many made-for- 
television films might in a theatrical setting, "Alambrista!" has an unex- 
pected intimacy in its present form. The encounters are brief but un- 
commonly vivid. And the details, presented unobtrusively, ring true. 

Janet Maslin — The New York Times, Sunday, September 23, 1979 



14 



REVIEWS continued- 



"Heartland," a new, low-budget, uncommonly beautiful film written by 
Beth Ferris and directed by Richard Pearce celebrates the people of the 
American frontier, with emphasis on the women. It largely avoids sen- 
timentality. 

Though Mr. Pearce has made documentaries and features for television 
and was the cameraman for Peter Davis's Oscar-winning "Hearts and 
Minds," this is his first theatrical feature as a director. It is also Miss 
Ferris's first theatrical screen credit as a writer. Together they have 
made an unusually accomplished work. 

Vincent Canby — New York Times, September 21, 1979 




Heartland, Richard Pearce, Beth Ferris, Annick Smith 



"Bush Mama" is fiery, furious, overflowing with rhetoric and slightly out 
of breath. The Ethiopian-born Mr. Gerima made the film as his thesis 
project at the University of California at Los Angeles, with a low budget 
and a lot of audacity. Its rough edges, occasional incoherence and 
polemical urgency all mark it as an especially passionate early effort. 

Janet Maslin — The New York Times, Tuesday, September 25, 1979 





Northern Lights, John Hanson and Rob Nilsson 

Henry Martinson is a real person, for 28 years the labor commissioner 
of North Dakota and a former secretary of the Socialist Party. His 
recollections provide the frame for "Northern Lights," the stunningly 
photographed, fictionalized story of Ray Sorenson and other farmers 
like him who were radicalized in the first decades of this century. The 
film is the first dramatic feature by Rob Nilsson and John Hanson, both 
of whom have roots in the Middle West and are documentary film 
makers. 

Vincent Canby, The New York Times, Wednesday, September 26, 1979 




Bush Mama, Haile Gerima 



Gal Young Un, Victor Nunez 

"Gal Young Un," an astonishingly good first feature, written, directed, 
photographed, edited and produced by Victor Nunez, based on Marjorie 
Kinnan Rawling's 1932 story, is a most invigorating and comic film, 
though I don't think there's one actual laugh in it. However, make no 
mistake about it, it is funny, partly because it's so far from being a 
tragedy. 

Vincent Canby — The New York Times, Monday, September 24, 1979 



15 



Also shown at the Feature Festival 





The Scenic Route, Mark Rappaport 



Sandra Schulberg 



INDEPENDENT FEATURE CONFERENCE 



Immediately preceding the American Independents' 
Festival, the Independent Feature Project hosted a 
3-day Conference of 200 independent producers, drawn 
from a diversity of regions, cultures and constituencies, 
including funding sources, exhibitors and consultants. 
Most of the participants represented the increasing 
number of American producers and directors of feature- 
length dramas and documentaries that have theatrical 
potential. There was also a significant number of high- 
level resource people from all over the country, and as 
far away as Europe and Australia. 

The purpose of the Conference was to pool energies 
and resources, to attempt to form a "mosaic" of public 
and private financing, to build new strategies for 
distribution and exhibition — in short, to articulate the 
basis of a new national policy of major public support 
for American independent feature films. The Con- 
ference was not structured simply to impart informa- 
tion. Most of the work took place in over 30 small 
discussion groups aimed at developing concrete pro- 
posals. Each day of the Conference concentrated on a 
major topic: day one, production financing; day two, 
distribution and exhibition; and day three, creation and 
implementation of a new professional organization to 
strengthen collective influence. The following is a brief 
selection of some of the issues raised and proposals 
made: 

As a model for new structures for public financing, a 
Feature Development Board was proposed, which 
would combine public and private funding, perhaps 
through the Endowments and PBS. Sue Murray, the 
delegate from the Australian Film Institute, explained 
how they have set up regional corporations linked to 
each state's government to provide funding, which 
enables the Board to provide 50% of production 
budgets. Talk of the realities of tax shelters, political 
clout and small business investment corporations 
mingled with artistic discussions of the aesthetic that 
is taking shape among independents: making artistic 
and entertaining films, with a humanistic focus and 
geographical diversity that differentiate them from 
Hollywood films. 

The conference organizers were able to identify over 
200 independent feature filmmakers in this country wno 
are working on or completing films budgeted from 
$20,000 to $200,000. Throughout the Conference, the 



consensus called for an organization of independents 
to facilitate funding from both private and public sec- 
tors — from untapped sources such as box office 
taxes, to existing sources such as the Film Fund (spon- 
sor of the Conference) and those still developing, such 
as PBS. Representatives from public broadcasting and 
its national affiliates were present at the Conference to 
respond to its proposals. Participants in the workshop 
on Public Television made specific recommendations 
for a PBS Independent Feature Fund, which would pro- 
vide development money in the form of partial financ- 
ing, to be matched privately. They also emphasized the 
necessity for peer review. 

In the discussions of funding, the importance of the 
often unknown availability of regional funds was stress- 
ed. A task force was proposed to research financing 
available from churches and state agencies and to 
make this information available to producers, while ad- 
vocating independent filmmaking to those agencies. 
The support system for such diverse investment would 
consist of a distribution network set up by the pro- 
posed producers' organization. Discussions with the 
participating distributors indicated that they would be 
open to showing independent features on a more 
systematic basis; but the new approach would differ 
from the Hollywood model. Theatrical and non- 
theatrical work must combine to include the wide range 
of American filmmakers, build new audiences for 
regional films and develop a non-profit support 
organization: a service, not a distribution company. 
In terms of contacts made, information exchanged, 
films sold and good press coverage, the Conference 
was a success. Considering the widely diverging view- 
points, backgrounds and professions of the conferees, 
there was a marvelously high level of participation and 
determination to unite behind a common purpose. Los 
Angeles entertainment lawyers rubbed elbows with 
Native American filmmakers and commercial exhibitors 
who have been in the business for thirty years. On the 
concluding day, the participants endorsed a temporary 
steering committee which will carry the Conference 
work forward regionally and nationally, and prepare pro- 
posals for the formal creation of a permanent associa- 
tion 6 months or so from now. 

The Independent Feature Project is making copies of 
the Conference Resource Papers available at a charge 
of $8.00 plus postage for each packet. 



Independent Feature Project 
16 



c/o The Film Fund 80 East 11th Street New York, NY 10003 



(212) 475-3720 



Foreign Buyers Market 



(The following is an edited transcript of a symposium 
held at the recent Independent Feature Film Con- 
ference in New York City. A complete list of foreign 



buyers who attended the conference — television rep- 
resentatives, feature distributors and exhibitors — is 
appended to this transcript. — Alan Jacobs) 



SWEDEN 

Nils Petter 
Sundgren: 



Question: 
NPS: 

Question: 
NPS: 

Question: 
NPS: 

Question: 
NPS: 



Sandra 
Schulberg: 



Swedish televison TV (2) shows about 120 
feature films a year. Twenty of these are 
Swedish productions, the rest are im- 
ported from around the world. About thir- 
ty of these have never been released 
theatrically. There are about 4,000 feature 
films being made every year and Swedish 
TV can show about 220 of these. We have 
a non-commercial television, government 
monopoly. We have a limited competition 
between two programs (that is channels). 
We have greater programming freedom 
than most European programming. We 
were the first to show Andy Warhol's 
HEAT, for example. What we pay general- 
ly for a foreign film is approximately 
$5000 to 6000 for one screening; we may 
have two and then pay 50% more. Negoti- 
ations are not being made by the two 
channels separately but by a joint office. 
In general we subtitle all prints elec- 
tronically and therefore the films are not 
physically affected by the process. 

What is the relationship between TV and 
theatrical rights in Sweden? 

Most theatrical contracts are exclusive 
but there are exceptions with some 
theatrical exhibitors/distributors. 

Do you buy documentaries? 

Yes, many American documentaries and 
others from all over the world. I personal- 
ly don't; the man's name is Frank Hir- 
scheld. He comes here every year. 

What is the procedure for submitting 
films to you? 

Generally cassettes are submitted, but 
we preview films also. We also try to 
cover all the major festivals. 

When you buy a film, how long does it 
take for the producer to see the payment? 

In principle, we pay the money once the 
contract has been signed and we receive 
a print which is acceptable from a 
technical point of view. 

The majority of films we buy are enter- 
tainment films. Of our 120, 1 should say at 
least 30 are art films, 40 are Saturday 
night movies and 40 are Sunday 
matinees. 

Of the American independent films I 
know, Channel 1 has bought NORTHERN 



LIGHTS, ALAMBRISTA, THE GAR- 
DENER'S SON. 

NPS: And a couple of months ago I bought 

MAC ARTHUR PARK. There's not much 
difference between the kinds of films 
each of our channels takes. 

NORWAY 

Berit Rinnan: We have only one station. I think our 
policy is very similar to that of Swedish 
TV but, of course, we would never show 
HEAT. But our concern is a family au- 
dience. I am responsible for feature films 
but we have other departments responsi- 
ble for documentaries and all other kinds 
of films. We are a government non-com- 
mercial TV and therefore very different 
from U.S. TV. We have a very limited 
budget. It is not up to the corporation to 
decide where the monies are spent. That 
is the role of the government depart- 
ments. 

For a feature film our price would be bet- 
ween $2000-2500 for one single broad- 
cast, and we pay freight and handling 
charges. 

Question: Do you buy films from agents or directly 
from filmmakers? 

BR: Preferably, directly from filmmakers. 

NETHERLANDS 

Theresa te The Netherlands is the most complex and 
Nuyl: imperfect system you can believe. We try 

to cover a large range of subjects and not 
to be too commercial and, consequently, 
hardly show theatrical, big American 
feature films. But we are only one of 
many sections that comprise Dutch TV. 
There are two channels in competition 
with each other. 

Question: Do you program like we do in America, in 
30 minute, 60 minute and 90 minute 
slots? 

TN: We prefer the regular time slots: 25 

minute, 50 minute, 90 minute, 120 minute. 
Our closing time is 11:30 in the evening; 
we only show in the afternoons on two 
days, Wednesday and Saturday, and that 
is for children's programs. Other pro- 
gramming begins around 6:30-7:00 PM. 
Let me say we pay for a 50-minute docu- 
mentary between three and four thousand 



17 



BELGIUM 

David 
Lachterman: 



Question: 
DL: 



Question: 

DL: 

Question: 

DL: 

Question: 

DL: 



dollars. Most of the time we put in our 
own narration, and when necessary we do 
lip-synching, and with a music and ef- 
fects track we will mix it ourselves. Every- 
thing complete. 

If I were to try to explain the Belgium 
situation it would be a one-day lecture, 
not a two-hour lecture. We are not as 
schizophrenic as Holland. It is a state- 
owned TV, but independent from the 
government. The state is paying for the 
station but the government can't interfere 
with the programs. We have four chan- 
nels in Belgium: two Flemish-speaking, 
two French. I'm representing the French- 
speaking channels. We have an average 
80 hours per week on the two channels. 
I'm in charge of buying everything but 
music and light entertainment, which 
means documentaries, shorts, features, 
etc. We pay from $5000-8000 for a feature 
film (one broadcast). We also pay for the 
freight and do our own electronic sub- 
titles. I think, like Sweden, we have a very 
liberal programming policy and many dif- 
ferent slots so we are able to buy a lot of 
things other TV couldn't buy or couldn't 
broadcast. 

If a film is bought by the French side, 
does the Flemish side also buy it? 

I forgot a very important piece of infor- 
mation. Outside the U.S., Belgium has the 
largest cable system in the world. Be- 
tween 70% and 75% of the population is 
linked to a cable system which delivers 
from 13 to 15 channels including the 
three German channels, the two Dutch 
channels, the three French channels, etc. 
And this makes competition very hard. So 
as soon as a film is shown on any other 
channel surrounding Belgium which is 
available on cable, we buy it as a re-run. 
And Flemish TV acts the same. That 
means we pay about 50% less for it. 

If you buy a film and broadcast it, are sur- 
rounding countries then only interested 
in it as a re-run? 

No, no. We are literally invaded by our 
neighbors. I mean electronically. But we 
don't invade them. 

So we should offer it to you first? 

Yes, you've got the point. 

Do you send agents regularly to New 
York or the West Coast? 

No, not regularly. I'm here today and was 
in L.A. last year. You'd better take our 
names and address and write and send 
cassettes, preferably, to screen before we 
buy. Or come to Cannes. I'm here to fill a 
gap because we are anxious to find good 
American films produced by independent 



Question: 

DL: 

SS: 



DL: 

Question: 
DL: 

Question: 

DL: 

Question: 

DL: 

SS: 

Question: 

DL: 

Question: 
DL: 

Question: 
DL: 

FRANCE 
SS: 



Gilberte 
Chadourne: 



GERMANY 

Franz 
Evershor: 



companies or filmmakers. And we hardly 
get them in Europe. We have the impres- 
sion that we are missing many good films 
that never reach us. 

What kind of materials do you want? 

Preferably in Sony cassettes. 

I'm not sure everyone realizes the foreign 
TV electronic standard is different from 
ours. If it's an American cassette you 
must make sure they can show it. 

We can read NTSC and I'm sure 
everybody has at least one machine that 
can read NTSC. 

Do you buy any documentary films? 

Yes, but less than feature films. We put 
on the air per year between 230 and 250 
feature films. 

Do you show films that are shorter? 

Sometimes, yes. 

Do you have any arrangements with 
Customs to get the cassettes in and out? 

If you sent a cassette as a single parcel, 
there is no problem with Customs. 

You should always send them regular air 
mail; don't send them in freight. 

How do you decide how much to pay for 
the films? Does length determine price? 

It's an aesthetic judgement, not con- 
nected to length. Except for documen- 
taries where we pay by the minute. 

What's the average? 

We pay from $50-75/minute for a 
documentary. 

Is there any time limit for documentaries? 

We once put on the air a 4 1 /> hour Greek 
film. 

I'd like now to hear from Gilberte 
Chadourne. I'm particularly pleased she's 
here, for up to now French television has 
not been very receptive to the kinds of 
films we're making. Her presence may 
signal a change. 

I represent one of the three French na- 
tional networks. We are state-owned, we 
receive funds from licensees, but we are 
also receiving funds from limited com- 
mercial slots. We show 130 features each 
year, of which 50% have to be French by 
law. Our prices range from 90,000 to 
180,000 francs. (Roughly 20,000-40,000 
dollars.) We don't assume the costs of 
dubbing. 



I'm talking for German television. We 
have three television programs: the first 
channel which is called ARD, the second 



18 



Question: 
FE: 



SS: 



FE: 



Question: 



channel 2DF, and the third channel which 
is regional programs. ARD and 2DF are 
nationwide. 

ARD is composed of nine different sta- 
tions throughout the country which syn- 
dicate for this first television channel pro- 
gram. Only the buying of feature films 
and TV series are centralized in the ARD. 
I represent that buying organization. Nor- 
mally we show 160 feature films per year, 
30% of which are being presented for the 
first time in Germany. The criteria are 
determined by the time slot in which we 
have to put the film, because we are not a 
commercial system. Generally, we can 
play every kind of film. 

We have two or three special programs 
per year, normally one or two films per 
month in which we show premieres and 
what we call late night studio films. The 
latter are mostly films by young directors 
and producers which can give informa- 
tion about the country they come from, 
about the way of living, about human and 
social problems. That is the section 
which will include NORTHERN LIGHTS. 

To talk about prices: we normally ask for 
a license period of five years and three 
runs. We pay an average sum of $50,000. 
We buy directly and through agents. I 
myself or one of my colleagues come to 
the U.S. about four times a year, so it is 
not necessary to ship your films to Ger- 
many. We can easily see them here. But I 
would ask you to give us information in 
advance, not about finished projects but 
about the things you are going to do, so 
that we know what's happening with in- 
dependents in the States. 

Are you also interested in shorts and 
documentaries? 

No, but we can be a kind of middleman 
because though the nine different sta- 
tions buy their shorts and documentaries 
themselves, they do not have the con- 
tacts in the United States. I cannot give 
you a price for documentaries because 
each of the stations has a different rate. 

With many of the German stations the 
programmers are different from the 
buyers. Which are you? 

I have five colleagues who constitute the 
program section; they make the program- 
ming decisions. On the other side is the 
buying procedure. I'm in that side but nor- 
mally we go together, one of my col- 
leagues from the program committee 
goes with me so decisions can be made 
when we see the films. 

Some agents have been bullshitting us, 
saying we can't deal directly with German 
TV . 



FE: I know about that and that's the reason 

why I'm here. 

Question: I am curious about the connection and/or 
problems with theatrical distribution and 
television broadcast in Germany. 

FE: NORTHERN LIGHTS, for example, will be 

distributed in Germany for 1 or 1 V2 years, 
and after that we will have it on televi- 
sion. We pay the license fee when the 
license period begins. 

Question: Do you ever do presales in which you ad- 
vance funds for production against future 
broadcast rights? 

FE: Normally, no. 

Question: Are there other parts of German televi- 
sion that do? 

FE: Yes, there are. 

Question: Then I'm confused by your earlier state- 
ment that you want to be involved in 
future productions. I'm not sure what you 
meant by that. 

FE: I need to know producers' production 

schedules to coordinate our visits to the 
States. We want to see the films as soon 
as they're finished. That's the problem 
and that's the chance for a lot of agents 
who have offices in New York and Los 
Angeles, and they're always present. 

Question: Are documentaries in the same category 
as shorts, feature-length documentaries? 

FE: Normally, yes. We had some feature- 

length documentaries in the feature film 
program, but there are very few excep- 
tions. 

Question: Does 2DF operate the same way as ARD? 

FE: In buying feature films there is no great 

difference between the two systems. But, 
of course, we are competitors. 

Georg Basically, everything that Franz Evershor 

Alexander: said is true for us too; how things work 
and what the criteria are. The main dif- 
ference is in the prices, because if a pro- 
gram is being broadcast nationwide, of 
course you get more money. They have a 
much larger budget than we have for the 
third channels. If a film has not been 
shown in Germany already we pay about 
$13,000, which is a net price and doesn't 
include taxes or shipping. There are two 
possibilities. We can buy for ourselves or 
for all the third channels if we think they 
will pick up on a program. If they do, the 
price for a film can be around $30,000. 

Basically, there is no difference between 
us and Channel 1 regarding the kind of 
film we choose. We may be a bit riskier in 
our programming. It's difficult to explain 
that. Off-beat films. I am personally very 
much interested in Third World cinema. 



19 



SS: 
GA: 



SS: 
GA: 



Question: 



DL: 



SS: 

DL: 

Laurens 
Straub: 



20 



We also buy documentaries. Our program 
is a feature film program with three films 
per week, but we also have a time slot for 
feature-length documentaries. We will 
buy 10 to 15, sometimes even more docu- 
mentaries per year. We are offered quite a 
lot and it's very difficult to pick what we 
want. We just had a Frederick Wiseman 
retrospective. 

If any third channel station buys a film, 
isn't it offered to the other stations? 

Yes, we have meetings twice a year. Op- 
tions are built into the contract and other 
stations are free to pick up on them. Of 
course, more money then flows to the 
filmmaker. 

What are the other stations? 

The Hamburg station called NDR; the 
Frankfurt station called HR; the Munich 
station called BR; the Southwest region 
station called S3; and us, the Cologne 
station called WDR. I also wanted to add 
that we come to the States twice a year 
and are always interested in finding out 
about independent projects. 

I had an experience where our film was 
offered to ARD by someone in France 
who had no right to sell it, and fortunately 
ARD cleared it with us. Someone in Paris 
is selling our film without our permission. 
I'm concerned about your response to 
this kind of activity. 

Yes, but I'm sorry to say that this is your 
problem. I mean that in our contracts it is 
written that we don't have to check if the 
guy who's selling us the film really has 
the rights or not, as long as he's ready to 
sign and is ready to provide us with a 
good copy. If we had to check each time 
we bought a film this would be an im- 
possible mess. 

(Editor's note: this would not wash in the 
U.S. The station would be responsible for 
distributing the film illegally. You may 
want to get a second opinion about 
France.) 

What is the price of dubbing? 

Between 12,000-15,000 dollars, easy. 

Last year on TV we had about 900 films. 
Last week we had GODFATHER in four 
parts; Franz (Evershor) was running a 
complete James Dean retrospective; 
Georg (Alexander) was running another 
retro. So frequently German TV is in com- 
petition with the theatres. German 
cinema has two markets: 1) first-run 
showcases, and 2) program cinemas, 
retrospectives. About 150 to 250 houses 
are program cinemas. However, this mar- 
ket is already overflowing with products. 
You mainly find festival type of films. 
There is very little public interest in 



theatrical screening of documentaries 
because the high standard of TV allows 
people to see every documentary they 
can imagine on TV. 

The highest price we ever paid for a 
feature film in cinema was $25,000 in an 
outright deal. Normally, we give small ad- 
vances, not over 7 or 10 thousand dollars. 
Do not expect to make much business in 
German cinema. Still, it's very good for 
your relations with TV to work with 
cinema, for TV needs continuously the 
prestige of a product which it does not 
establish by one screening. You establish 
your image as a filmmaker and the quality 
of your product in the cinema. 

I found you too optimistic in the last few 
days in raising money from German 
government sources. You have the same 
problem you have in France: the problem 
of national identity. The German govern- 
ment will require the films to be 51% 
German. 

SS: I know that 2DF, the second German 

channel, is not represented here, and 
they have probably done the most co- 
production with American filmmakers. 
Eckhard Stein, who has done co- 
production with various American film- 
makers, will be coming to the U.S. in 
November and doing a presentation, I 
hope, with AIVF. He can be reached 
through Goethe House. I wanted to ask 
Franz if he agrees with Laurens that 
ARD's interest in co-production is limited 
to German subjects, issues, crews, etc. 

FE: Yes, it is very difficult with ARD because 

of our Board regulations. 

(Editor's note: A short discussion of pre- 
sales followed. It is apparently not a com- 
mon practice for European TV, although 
there are clear exceptions. Swedish TV 
expressed an interest in receiving scripts 
and manuscripts, raising the possibilities 
of co-production.) 



FESTIVAL AND MARKET ATTENDERS 



AUSTRALIA 

Susan Murray 

AUSTRALIAN FILM INSTITUTE 
81 Cardigan Street 
Carlton Australia 3053 

BELGIUM 

David Lachterman 
RADIO TELEVISION BELGE 
52 Boulevard August Reyer 
1040 Bruxelles 

FRANCE 

Gilberte Chadourne 

ANTENNE2 

5-7 Rue de Monttessuy 

75341 Paris 



Non-commercial theatrical 
distributor from Australia 



Buyer for Belgium T.V. 
(French side) 



Buyer for 2nd channel, 
France 



Corine McMullin 
86 Bd Malesherbes 
Paris — 75008 

GERMANY 

Georg Alexander 

WESTDEUTSCHER RUNDFUNK KOLN 

5 Koln 1 

Appellhofplatz 1 

Postfach 10 19 50 

Wolfram Barkhahm 
ARBEITSGEMEINSCHAFT KINO 
Von-Melle-Park 17 
2000 Hamburg 13 

Franz Evershor 
A R D 

Bertramstrasse 8 
6000 Frankfurt am Main 

Ulrich Gregor, Director 
BERLIN FILM FESTIVAL, 
Welserstrasse 25 



'Forum" 



Sylvia Koller 

BAYERISCHER RUNDFUNK 
Postfach 200 508 
8000 Munchen 2 

Guy Lehman 

ARBEITSGEMEINSCHAFT KINO 
Von-Melle-Park 17 
2000 Hamburg 13 

Laurens Straub 
FILMWELT VERLEIH GMBH 
Trautenwolfstrasse 7 
8000 Munchen 40 

HOLLAND 

Piet Ardriannse 
DE MELKWEG 
Multi Media Centrum 
Lijnbaansgracht 23A Amsterdam 

Ard Hesselink 
DE MELKWEG 
Multi Media Centrum 
Lijnbaasgracht 23A Amsterdam 

Rob Langestraat 
FUGITIVE CINEMA HOLLAND 
1051 HH Amsterdam 
Van Hallstraat 52 

Theresa te Nuyl 
FILMZAKEN VARA-TV 
Postbus 175-1200AD 
Heuvellaan 33HM Versum 

NORWAY 

Berit Rinnan 

NORWEGIAN BROADCASTING 

CORPORATION 

Oslo 3 

Rigmor H. Rodin 
NORWEGIAN BROADCASTING 
CORPORATION 
Oslo 3 

SWEDEN 

Hans Elefalk 
SWEDISH TELEVISION 
S-105 10 Stockholm 

Lars Sastrom 
FILMCENTRUM 
Stora Nygatan 21 
11127 Stockholm 

Nils Petter Sundgren 
SWEDISH TELEVISION CHANNEL 2 
Swedish Broadcasting Corp. 
S-105 10 Stockholm 



Writer and film critic for 
LE CINEMATOGRAPHE, 
and CINEMACION 



Buyer for WDR, 3rd 
channel, Germany 



Commercial theatrical 
distributor 



Buyer for channel 1, 
Germany 



Director of "Forum" sectic 
of Berlin Festival, and non 
commercial exhibitor and 
distributor 



festivals 



Buyer for BR, 3rd 
channel, Germany 



Commercial distributor 
from Germany 



Commercial distributor 
from Germany 



Non-commercial exhibitor 
from Amsterdam 



Non-commercial exhibitor 
from Amsterdam 



Non-theatrical distributor 
from Holland 



Buyer from VARA, Dutch 
Television 



Buyer for Norwegian 
Television 



Head of and buyer for 
Norwegian Television 



Buyer for channel 1, 
Sweden 



Non-commercial theatrical 
and non-theatrical 
exhibitor/distributor 
from Sweden 

Buyer for Channel 2, 
Sweden 



ROTTERDAM FILM FESTIVAL 

The FIVF Festivals Bureau cooperates in the selection 
of films for the Rotterdam International Film Festival, 
to be held in February 1980. Rotterdam is a non- 
competitive festival which shows films of all lengths 
and genres (fiction, documentary, animation, etc). In 
past years it has been valuable for American in- 
dependents, since many directors of European festivals 
attend it in order to make selections. Rotterdam has 
also been known to invite some filmmakers to attend, 
paying travel and hotel expenses. 

If you're interested in having your film considered for 
Rotterdam, send a one paragraph synopsis, copies of 
reviews, major credits, length and completion date to: 

Rotterdam Selection 
FIVF Festivals Bureau 

99 Prince St. 
New York, NY 10012 

The materials must be received at our office by 
December 17, 1979. We will forward materials to Rotter- 
dam and contact you to arrange for the shipment of 
films in early January. 



OTHER FESTIVALS 

6th ANNUAL ITHACA VIDEO FESTIVAL: is a national 
touring exhibition, presenting a selection of the finest 
independent video produced in the U.S. The Annual 
Festival is dedicated to promoting public appreciation 
through exhibition in museums, libraries and galleries. 
Open to all types of genres; tapes are selected on the 
basis of creative use of the medium, craftsmanship/ 
execution and inventiveness. Tapes must be submitted 
on 1 /2-inch or 3 /4-inch U-Matic format; maximum length 
is 30 minutes. No entry fee. Deadline is Feb. 15, 1980. 
Contact: Ithaca Video Project, 328 E. State St., Ithaca, 
NY 14850. (607) 272-1596. 



1980 AMERICAN FILM FESTIVAL: The Educational Film 
Library Assoc. (EFLA) is now accepting entries for its 
22nd annual American Film Festival, to be held May 
25-30, at the Sheraton Centre Hotel, NYC. The Festival 
is an important showcase for 16MM films for use in 
libraries, schools, museums, and other community pro- 
grams. Entry requirements: Only 16MM optical track 
films, released for general distribution in the U.S. be- 
tween January 1978 and December 1979, are eligible for 
competition. Deadline for entry forms is January 15, 
1980. Contact EFLA, 43 West 61st Street, NY, NY 10023. 



21 



*76&(y)twtoK 



by RICH BERKOWITZ 



WHAT THE HECK? Bravo to independents Alan and 
Susan Raymond, who were recent guests of Tom 
Snyder on his TOMORROW show. An amenable Snyder, 
predictably soliciting funny anecdotes from the 
Raymonds (whose credits include AN AMERICAN 
FAMILY, BAD BOYS, THE POLICE TAPES and SCOOP), 
had his "consciousness" unexpectedly raised when 
Alan and Susan began explaining from their. ex- 
periences how "commercial television stifles alternate 
voices. . .(and how) the hierarchy of public television is 
becoming increasingly reluctant to support indepen- 
dent productions." Alan remarked, "If I can make the 
comparison to print journalism, you can go out and buy 
the VILLAGE VOICE or MOTHER JONES or THE NEW 
REPUBLIC and maybe read a different slant or a dif- 
ferent approach to a story; but you can't do that on 
television. You have to go with what's offered, and 
what's offered is being produced and I think controlled 
by a very small group of people." The Raymonds' 
criticism of commercial as well as public television was 
extremely sharp, causing Snyder to joke, "I can under- 
stand why the networks don't want to buy your product 
Ah ha ha ha." The Raymonds are now finishing THE 
THIRD COAST, a documentary on the growing vitality 
of Houston, for Dallas public television station KERA- 
TV. THE THIRD COAST will be a one-hour tape for 
national ptv. . . 

Filmmaker Harvey Marks has completed the script for 
the second film in his trilogy concerning sexual identi- 
ty, tentatively titled BEYOND THE DANGER SIGN. (I'M 
NOT FROM HERE was the first.) Marks has successful- 
ly negotiated to direct his script as a low-budget 35MM 
color feature; it's scheduled to begin shooting on loca- 
tion in the Cascade Mountains outside Seattle, 
Washington in the spring (1980). Jak Newman will be 
the cinematographer. . . 

Independent documentary producers Claude Beller and 
Stefan Moore will have their videotape PRESUMED IN- 
NOCENT aired as a television special on WNET/13 on 
Dec. 13 at 10 pm. This one-hour doc about pretrial 
detention is the first inside look at the House of Deten- 
tion for Men on Rikers Island. . . 




In response to the growing number of requests AIVF is 
receiving for minority filmmakers, CETA Media Works 
Coordinator Lillian Jimenez is establishing a resource 
file for AlVF's Third World members. If you are a Latino, 
Black or Asian professional independent video or film- 
maker and are interested in obtaining work, please 
send a resume and pertinent info to: Lillian Jimenez, 
CETA Media Works, 99 Prince St., NYC 10012. 




22 



Harvey Marks, I'M NOT FROM HERE 



Alan and Susan Raymond 

Friendly faces welcome: Filmmaker Mirra Bank will be 
autographing her new book about folk art by American 
women, titled ANONYMOUS WAS A WOMAN (St. Mar- 
tin's Press) at B. Dalton's Bookstore, 52nd St. and Fifth 
Avenue (NYC) on Friday, Dec. 7 from 12:30 to 2 pm. 
ANONYMOUS WAS A WOMAN was also the title of the 
film Mirra produced in 1978 for the PBS series THE 
ORIGINALS: WOMEN IN ART. . . 

SCREENINGS: APPALSHOP: Films From Appalachia, 
Nov. 22-25, Nov. 29-Dec. 2 at the FILM FORUM (212) 
989-2994. ALSO: An Evening of Films and Videotapes 
Produced by the Members of FIVF's CETA Media 
Works: Michael Jacobsohn's NOW IT'S MY TIME, Paul 
Schneider's PEOPLE'S FIREHOUSE, Jennifer Stearns' 
SUNSET PARK and Eric Durst's WILD NIGHT, Friday, 
Nov. 30, 1979 at 8:00 pm at AIVF, 99 Prince Street, 2nd 
floor. . . 

The Office of Public Programs of the Astoria Motion 
Picture and Television Center Foundation has named 
eight local filmmakers to its pilot Internship Program: 
Larry Bullard (A DREAM IS WHAT YOU WAKE UP 
FROM), Deidre Walsh, John Walz, Lynn Rogoff, Jay 
Padroff, Claude Kervin, Steven Armsey and Amechi 
Njokanma. The pilot Internship Program is an industry- 
supported program built around ongoing production ac- 
tivities taking place at Astoria and elsewhere in NYC. 
According to Internship Coordinator Edward Spriggs. 
"The program is beginning with a strong helping hand 
from the film and television industry, especially the 
unions and guilds, and is intended to answer some of 
the very real needs that young emerging professionals 
have in advancing their careers.". . . 



A\ VP CLASSIFIEDS *** 



FILMS WANTED 

GAY FILMS WANTED: Films produced 
by lesbians and gay men wanted for 
possible inclusion in the 1980 New York 
Gay Film Festival. Please send promo 
(not films) to: ALTERMEDIA, LTD., P.O. 
BOX 948, Bowling Green Station, NY, 
NY 10004. 

WXXI-TV WANTS INDEPENDENTS' 
FILMS/TAPES: For SECOND SIGHT 
series. All types and styles wanted; no 
theme or time constraints (2 to 60 
minutes). $30.00 per minute paid for 
films acquired. Contact: PAT FAUST, 
Director of Programming, WXXI-TV, PO 
Box 21, Rochester, NY 14601. (716) 
325-7500. 

ICAP is looking for films and tapes 
(16mm and %") to assemble for in- 
dependent programming series for 
basic cable and wider satellite distribu- 
tion. Series themes include: Black ex- 
perience, women's experience, urban 
diversity, alternatives. Send descrip- 
tions/promo material to: Susan Eenigen- 
burg, Independent Cinema Artists & Pro- 
ducers, 99 Prince St., NY, NY 10012. 
(212) 226-1655. 

CENSORSHIP? We need short (5-30 min) 
films and tapes (%") which deal with 
censorship or freedom and restraint in 
American Society. Also, we need short 
films/tapes dealing with industrial 
waste/work/quality of life. The material 
we seek will be used in an interactive 
cable experiment in Pennsylvania. If you 
have pertinent tape or film, please send 
description/costs/rights information to: 
E. F. Churchill, Pennsylvania State Univ., 
Capitol Campus, Middletown, PA 17057 
or call (717) 783-6197. 



BUY/RENT/SELL 

FOR RENT: % inch and Beta Post Pro- 
duction Facility. Editing with time base 
correction, character generator; graphics 
camera, 4-track audio equipment, and 
dubbing in %", Beta, and VHS formats 
with technician. For personal projects by 
independent artist/producers, $20/hour. 
For all others, $40/hour. Contact: Elec- 
tronic Arts Intermix, Inc. 84 Fifth Avenue, 
New York, NY 10011, phone (212) 
989-2316. 

FOR SALE: Guillotine splicer (almost 
new). Also for sale: rewinds and ampli- 
fier, excellent condition. Call Elieo at 
(212) 689-6413. 

EDITING FACILITIES AVAILABLE: Fully 
equipped rooms, 24-hour access in 
security building. 6-plate Steenbeck, 
6-plate Moviola flatbed, sound transfers 



from Va" to 16mm mag, narration record- 
ing, sound effects library, interlock 
screening room available. Cinetudes Film 
Productions, 377 Broadway, New York, 
NY 10013. (212) 966-4600. 

Filmmaker Isa Hesse will be shooting in 
NYC, January 1980. She is looking for a 
loft to rent or will swap her house out- 
side Zurich for living space in New York 
(prefers downtown). Contact: Isa Hesse, 
Schiedhaldenstrasse #75, Kuesnacht 
(Zurich), Switzerland. 

WANTED TO BUY: 6-Plate Steenbeck 
16MM; payment negotiable. Contact 
Jackie (evenings) (212) 751-8811. 

FOR SALE: Anti-nuclear rubber stamps. 
Send a message with your utility bill: 
NO NUKES or SHUT DOWN INDIAN 
POINT. $1.50 each, $2.00 with pocket- 
size stamp pad. Indicate slogan and ink 
color (red or black) desired. Make check 
payable to Fran Piatt, c/o FIVF, 99 
Prince Street, New York, NY 10012. 

OPPORTUNITIES/GIGS/ 
APPRENTICESHIPS 

FILM PRODUCTION COMPANY seeks 
multi-talented, experienced crew, prefer- 
ably with own equipment, for grant- 
funded 16mm documentary series to 
begin production fall 1980. Positions: 
Camera, Assistant Camera, Sound, Pro- 
duction Manager, Editor, Assistant 
Editor. Send resumes to: Low Sulphur 
Productions, 355 W. 85 Street, New 
York, NY 10024. 

CAMERAPERSON WANTED: Skilled film 
or video cameraperson to collaborate on 
productions exploring the use of masks 
and puppets through narrative. If in- 
terested contact: Julie Taymor (Teatr 
Loh) (212) 966-5575. 

STUDIO TECHNICIAN POSITION AT 
RUTGERS UNIVERSITY: Applicant 
should have a degree in applicable 
fields or equivalent experience. He/she 
should be familiar with the present 
range of 16mm and Super-8 film equip- 
ment, and Vz" and %" video, audio, and 
audiotape equipment for both produc- 
tion and post-production usage. In addi- 
tion, some knowledge of still photog- 
raphy, 35mm cameras, Polaroids, slide 
projectors and lighting equipment is 
necessary. A basic knowledge of com- 
puters and computer graphics will be 
helpful. Send resume to: Robert M. 
Watts, Douglass College, Department of 
Art, Walters Hall, New Brunswick, NJ 
08903. Please do not telephone. 

COLLABORATORS WANTED FOR A 
FILM IDEA: For further information con- 
tact Harold V. Suggs at 1011 Fifth Ave. 



Asbury Park, NJ 07712 or call (201) 
988-9749. Tentatively titled "Out of 
Order", the story focuses on a profes- 
sional working woman who witnesses a 
murder. 

BF/VF POSITION OPEN/ADMINISTRA- 
TIVE DIRECTOR: The Boston Film/Video 
Foundation provides equipment access 
and production space to independent ar- 
tists working in video, film and mixed 
media; also, a highly respected exhibi- 
tion program with an emphasis on avant- 
garde film, an educational program of- 
fering diverse seminars and a news- 
letter, Visions. If interested, please sub- 
mit 2 recommendations, both of which 
should contain appraisals of your 
business and management experience. 
Salary: negotiable. Starting date: Jan. 2, 
1980. Send resume and inquiries to: 
Michael McLaughlin, Board of Directors, 
BF/VF, 39 Brighton Avenue, Allston, MA 
02134. 

WORKSHOPS/SEMINARS/ 
CONFERENCES 

SYMPOSIUM ON WOMEN AND AN- 
THROPOLOGICAL FILM: Filmmaker 
Rachel Field and anthropologist Melanie 
Wallace have planned and coordinated a 
Symposium on women and anthro- 
pological film as part of the March 1980 
Conference on Visual Anthropology at 
Temple University. Films, written 
material and the presence of interested 
people are invited. For info, contact: 
Rachel Field, Polyglot Prods., 135 
Eastern Pkwy., Brooklyn, NY 11234. 

AMERICAN FILM INSTITUTE CENTER 
FOR ADVANCED FILM STUDIES: A film 
conservatory for individuals of unique 
talent and promise offers training in film 
and television. The Program is open to 
advanced filmmakers and individuals 
without background in film who have ex- 
perienced in related disciplines. Dead- 
line for applications is Feb. 1, 1980. Con- 
tact: Center Admissions B, The 
American Film Inst., 501 Doheny Road, 
Beverly Hills, CA 90210. 

VIDEOCASSETTE EDITING: A weekend 
workshop for film and TV professionals 
to develop technical skills. Saturday and 
Sunday, December 1 & 2 at Young 
Filmakers/Video Arts. Two 8-hour days 
(9 am-6 pm) including lunch, $215. Call 
or write for information. YF/VA, 4 Riv- 
ington St., NYC 10002 (212) 673-9361. 

CINEMA STUDIES CONFERENCE: The 
1980 Conference of the Society for 
Cinema Studies will be held March 20-23 
at Syracuse University. Contact Owen 
Shapiro, College of Visual and Perform- 
ing Arts, Syracuse University, Syracuse, 
NY 13210. 

23 



FOUNDATION FOR INDEPENDENT VIDEO AND FILM, INC. 
99 Prince Street 
New York, N.Y. 10012 




Dec. 18th 

MiWemum 
8:00 PM 



Screening of SONG OF TH€ CANARY, a moving documentary of industrial indifference to the lives of working people. 
At a California chemical plant, the filmmakers uncover a national scandal indicting the chemical industry: in the 
process of manufacturing a potent farm festicide called DBCP, a number of workers have become sterile. In the 
Carolinas, retired textile workers with "brown lung" disease battle the mill companies and government bureaucracy 
for workers 1 compensation and safer working conditions. Through the personal stories of these workers, the film ex- 
plores the plight of labor in hazardous industries. Why did PBS refuse to broadcast SONG OF THE CANARY? Both of 
the filmmakers, Dave Davis and Josh Hanig, will be present to discuss this question and others. 




indepen dent 



DECEMBER / JANUARY 1980 
















the 



vol.2/no.lO 

It 

DEC./JAIM.8Q 



n 

Independent 



THE INDEPENDENT is published 10 times yearly by the 
.Foundation for Independent Video and Film, Inc., 99 Prince 
St., NY, NY 10012, with support from the New York State 
Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts, 
a federal agency. Subscription is included in membership to 
the organization. 

Publisher: Alan Jacobs 

Editor: Bill Jones 

Associate Editor: Rich Berkowitz 

Contributing Editors: Mitchell W. Block 
Dee Dee Halleck 
Sol Rubin 
Frances Piatt 

Layout & Design: Bill Jones 

Typesetting: Josephine Coppa, Compositype Studio 



no 

lb 



mm 



A 




BUSINESS 

ADVENTURES IN DISTRIBUTION 

PROFILE.' Jessie Maple 

MEDIA AWARENESS 

REVIEWS 

THE COLUMN 

NOTICES 



H. 

t 



>4 



(o) 



The viewpoints expressed herein do not necessarily reflect 
the opinion of the Board of Directors — they are as diversified 
as our member and staff contributors. 

We welcome your response in the form of letters, reviews, 
articles or suggestions. As time and space are of the essence 
we can't guarantee publication. Please send your material to 
THE INDEPENDENT, 99 Prince St., NY, NY 10012. If you'd like 
your material returned to you please enclose a self-addressed 
stamped envelope. 

Application to mail at second-class postage rates is 
pending at New York. NY. 
COVER: WILL, Jessie Maple 






IT'S TIME TO RENEW 



Your membership in AIVF is about to expire, and the 
next issue of THE INDEPENDENT will be your last 
unless you renew immediately. Not only will you miss 
important information on the latest legislative and 
technological developments, festivals, grants, con- 
ferences, gigs, who's who and what's what in the art 
and business of independent media, but you'll also lose 
the other benefits that come with membership: 

— discounts on publications 

— free admission to screenings, workshops and 
special events 

— use of information center, including consulta- 
tions 



— listing in Skills File to help you obtain work 

— the satisfaction of knowing that your member- 
ship in AIVF means a show of support for a 
healthy Independent community. 

So don't let your membership lapse — we need each 
other! To join or renew, send your check for $20.00 
(New York City residents), $15,00 (individuals outside 
NYC) or $40.00 (institutions) to: 

AIVF 

99 Prince Street 

New York, NY 10012 

or call (212) 966-0900 for additional information. 



DaDDDDDDDDnaDDaDDDDDnnnnDDDDDnnDDDDnDDnnDDDDnDDDDDDDDDnDnnaaDaDDDDDn 



BUSINESS 



OT©MI(LL Wo d[L@©[K 



FIVE FILM BUSINESS BOOKS: READING YOUR WAY TO RICHES 



In the past year a number of books have been published 
that deal with film business. Some of them are quite 
good, others are best avoided. All of the following 
books might prove of interest to the INDEPENDENT 
reader. 



GADNEY'S GUIDE TO 1800 INTERNATIONAL CON- 
TESTS, FESTIVALS AND GRANTS IN FILM AND 
VIDEO, PHOTOGRAPHY, TV-RADIO BROADCASTING, 
WRITING, POETRY AND PLAYWRITING, JOURNALISM 
by Alan Gadney (Festival Publications, P.O. Box 10180, 
Glendale, CA. 91209, 1979 $15.95 softcover plus $1.50 
for postage and handling. Self-distributed by Gadney.) 

GADNEY'S GUIDE Provides the independent filmmaker 
a handy guide to festivals and grants. The book is well 
indexed and organized. The festival information seems 
objective and should be useful for at least 18 months. 
(Gadney promises to update regularly.) The grant infor- 
mation is also well organized. Again, information is 
presented objectively, in most cases from the grant 
organization's own brochures. Despite its high cost, 
this book is a good buy in that it provides one with 
more information than any other text on the subject. I 
have found the book most useful for checking on 
festivals. It provides their names, addresses and 
general information. The material is up-to-date in most 
cases. Gadney does not always provide proper entry 
dates, but these seem to change monthly. In addition to 
film festivals, the book provides the facts about video, 
audio, television, radio, photography, writing, and print 
(journalism) festivals as well as information on grants 
for all media. The book is nicely indexed, providing an 
alphabetical listing of events, sponsors and awards as 
well as a subject and category index. This is highly 
useful. The one index lacking (and my only criticism) is 
one that has the deadlines for entries listed 
chronologically. This book is a must for your reference 
shelf. 



HOW TO GET GRANTS TO MAKE FILMS, A GUIDE TO 
MEDIA GRANTS (Film, Video, Audio Visual Projects 
and Media Scholarships) by Steve Penny. (Film Grants 
Research, P.O. Box 1138, Santa Barbara, CA 93102, 
1978, no price listed.) 

Steve Penny's book HOW TO GET GRANTS TO MAKE 
FILMS provides a listing of 160 grant sources and gives 
the independent video and filmmaker an excellent col- 
lection of organizations to write to for more details. 
Like Gadney's book, this is well indexed and research- 
ed. It provides very general information on a great many 



known and not so well-known funding groups. The book 
also tells how to apply, how to budget a grant-funded 
film and provides sample letters and forms in the text 
part of the book. The bibliography is excellent, sug- 
gesting additional areas for further research. Penny's 
book is typewriter-set and looks a bit homemade, com- 
pared to some of the other books discussed, but in no 
way should the reader be put off by the somewhat un- 
conventional format. This book, like Gadney's, should 
be on your independent video-filmmaker reference 
shelf. 

MAKING FILMS YOUR BUSINESS by Mollie Gregory 
(Schocken Books, 200 Madison Avenue, New York, N.Y. 
10016, 1979, $6.95 paperback) 

I have been teaching film business for a number of 
years. My present course at the University of Southern 
California is structured for graduate and undergraduate 
students who have done some filmmaking. The class 
deals with film business and small business adminis- 
tration with a focus on independent (non-Hollywood 
feature) filmmaking. Mollie Gregory's book will be one 
of our required texts next term. 








c 




GP W S 



& 



M\&° 



o$* 



Br 



TV-B adf0 .tVy * 5 



PM* T 



DDnnDDDDnDDnnDDnDDDnnDDDnnnanDDDDaDDDnDaDnDDDnQDDDnDDDnDDDnDDDnnanDD 

Reading your way to riches 



The book is organized in 10 chapters. The first five I 
find most helpful: "Starting Out", "Writing Skills" (how 
to organize and write a proposal), "Selling and Financ- 
ing Information Films" (going to business, industry, the 
government and investors) and "The Cost of Film" 
(budgets). These sections provide basic knowledge in 
each of these areas that should be useful to all in- 
dependent filmmakers or film students. The chapters 
on law and the filmmaker, feature film financing and 
distribution are too general and too basic to be as 
useful as the conceptual first part of the text. These 
topics are well-handled, but they are covered better in 
other books. The appendices contain useful sample 
contracts, budgets, proposals, etc. Be careful to clear 
legal questions with an attorney. The book will provide 
some answers, but the sample contracts, for example, 
could be better drafted. 



MAKING MONEY MAKING MOVIES: THE INDEPEN- 
DENT MOVIE-MAKERS' HANDBOOK by Sheldon 
Tromberg. (New Viewpoints/Vision Books, a division of 
Franklin Watts, 730 Fifth Avenue, New York, N.Y. 
10019, 1980, $6.95 paperback) 



This book, unlike Gregory's MAKING FILMS YOUR 
BUSINESS, dedicates a large number of pages to 
screenwriting. The first quarter of this text deals with 
structuring stories, writing to order and screenwriting 
tips. Although this area has a great deal to do with 
"making money," Tromberg, alas, lacks the critical 
training to really pinpoint what kind of films make 
money and even more important, why and how they 
make money based on the script. Many books on 
screenwriting cover the topic better, most notably Syd 
Field's book, SCREENWRITING: THE FOUNDATIONS 
OF SCREENWRITING (published by Dell Press). 



The middle section, "Production," covers basic 
budgeting and the process of production. The legal ad- 
vice on disclosure and taxes is superficial. The final 
sections of the text, "Distribution and Exhibition", are 
not only superficial, but are somewhat misleading on 
account of being incomplete. For example, the material 
on self-distribution of theatrical product leaves out so 
much key information that the reader who followed the 
instructive section might never recover financially. 
"Suppose you gross $300,000 at the box office and 
you've only played fifty theatres, representing 1 percent 
of North American potential. If the rest of the country 

4 



follows suit, your movie will gross $30 million. At 30 
percent film rental, you'll collect $9 million." 
Tromberg's numbers seem convincing, yet he fails to 
point out that no independent self-distributed film has 
ever grossed that much! This book is not recommended 
except to the filmmaker who has read a few other 
books on the subject and wants another point of view. 



HOW TO SELL YOUR FILM PROJECT by Henry 
Beckman (Pinnacle Books, 2029 Century Park East, Los 
Angeles, CA 90067, 1979, $9.95 paperback) 



I spotted this book in a mail order ad in one of the 
Hollywood trade papers and was interested enough to 
write away for it. Beckman has put together an in- 
teresting and useful book. Little is printed on the large 
format 8 by 11 inch pages, but what is there is, for the 
most part, valuable. In a chapter mistitled "Feasibility", 
Beckman has 11 points or questions all producers 
should raise before running out with a project. If every 
question is answered correctly, many problems will be 
avoided. "Do I have a competitive product?", "Do I have 
a star (emphasis mine) in mind or actually committed to 
the project?" and "Why would anyone want to be a pro- 
ducer anyway?" are three sample questions which are 
raised and answered. 

Beckman's chapter on selecting a feature screenplay is 
outstanding. Without any aesthetic or political framing, 
Beckmans "fiscal theory" to screenplay selection pro- 
vides one of the most insightful analyses of a "Holly- 
wood mentality" I have ever seen in print. His break- 
down of genres to seven kinds of westerns and twenty- 
two kinds of comedy (from Dramatic to Political), for ex- 
ample, should have Wood and Mast in hysterics, and 
his listing of twenty kinds of "drama" from "The heavy 
— (Now, Voyager) to the caricature — (Annie Hall)" 
might cause readers of Frye's ANATOMY OF CRITI- 
CISM to cry out in paid, but are useful to any would-be 
(unread) producer. Beckman's sections on "Develop- 
mental Strategy" and "Copyright — Synopses, Screen- 
plays, Scripts" is, again, practical. 

The bock is loaded with sample forms, budgets, and 
Beckman's advice and comments. It is without ques- 
tion a highly useful book for those beginning to think 
about coming to Hollywood to join the feature film pro- 
ducers scrambling for change for the pay phone at the 
Beverly Hills Hotel. It is also a useful book for in- 
dependents who are trying to tough it out. 



WO RDISO UJ 



stories- of- some • of- our • live s 



adventures in distribution 



by Peter Adair 



As is the case of most filmmakers, I have spent vastly 
more time raising money than actually making films. 
For WORD IS OUT, I spent three full-time years in this 
odious pursuit (most of them by myself), only two and 
one-half years making the film (with the other members 
of The Mariposa Film Group) and what will be two years 
marketing the film (in the beginning with some of the 
group members and with the invaluable collaboration 
and occasional leadership of Tracy Gary). 

I was turned down for starting funds by every con- 
ceivable private, religious, political, and government 
agency and foundation. In 1972, no one wanted to go 
near a "queer" film. Eventually, I realized tht the only 
way that money could be raised for the project was to 
make its production a profit-making venture, and sell 
shares to peopler who were committed to the film but 
would not simply give us the money (primarily because 
they could not afford to do so.) So, not only out of a 
sense of commitment to our investors, but also in order 
to prove that this avenue of financing films was reason- 
able (i.e. that they would not lose their money) I had to 
balance two priorities which often can come into con- 
flict, trying to get the film as large an audience as 
possible, while showing a profit. 



The problem of financing is aggravated if one is in- 
terested in making documentaries of necessarily large 
scope such as HARLAN COUNTY or WORD IS OUT. 
This is not only because these films are more expen- 
sive to produce, but also because they do not really fit 
easily into the marketplace. There have been all too few 
instances of feature-length documentaries which have 
made their costs back. Even escapist products such as 
PUMPING IRON have had a hard time of it. If I am not 
mistaken, even a work of such monumental importance 
as THE SORROW AND THE PITY has not, in this coun- 
try, even paid back the costs of promotion and distribu- 
tion — much less anything toward original production 
costs. 

There are many reasons for this unfortunate situation 
and I will explore in detail some of my thoughts regard- 
ing them. The first that comes to the mind of most film- 
makers is that the distributors are robbing everybody 
blind, or if not, they are probably just incompetent. In 
the adversary relationship between distributor and film- 
maker, this is an obvious conclusion — any other might 
imply that the film was either not that good or perhaps 
only marginal in the marketplace. These were certainly 
some of my feelings when we decided to distribute 

5 




WORD IS OUT ourselves back in November (1978). Ac- 
tually, we were forced into the decision — in the 
theatrical market at least — in that I had wanted to do 
the non-theatrical distribution ourselves along the ad- 
mirable New Day model and leave the vastly more com- 
plex, risky and expensive (though, at least as I thought 
at the time, potentially more lucrative) theatrical 
distribution to the "pros". We had a number of offers, 
but all refused to take the theatrical without the non- 
theatrical, exactly because experience had taught them 
that they needed the more conservative but predictable 
non-theatrical as a hedge against the more risky 
theatrical venture. What was most important to me was 
that the film make its costs back, and I figured that by 
distributing the film ourselves in the non-theatrical 
market, we would have a good shot at accomplishing 
that minimum goal by eliminating the possibility of 
negligence or outright thievery. So we decided to do all 
distribution ourselves. The experience hasn't disproven 
the above two charges against distributors, but it cer- 
tainly taught me how difficult a proposition is the 
theatrical distribution of specialized product (to use the 
industry term which includes practically anything out- 
side Hollywood fare.) 

We opened the film in a small modern independent 
theatre in San Francisco on December 1st, under what 
is called a four-wall contract — a type of arrangement, 
that I would discourage most filmmakers from using 
because it requires us to assume, in advance, the 
liabilities of not only all the promotional costs but 
those of the theatre overhead as well. Using as much 
free, expert advice as we could, we financed, planned, 
and executed the very elaborate promotional campaign 
ourselves. The only professional we hired was a 
publicist — a good decision, I feel, because of the in- 
dispensability of their professional relationship with 
critics and people who can write background articles. 
The film ran for 14 weeks and grossed $70,000.00; 
theatre rental was approximately $40,000.00; and pro- 
motion costs about $30,000.00. We broke even, not 
counting costs of tooling up for distribution, which in- 
cluded $28,000 for the blow-up and many thousands 
more for prints, advertising production, posters, etc. 

We were lucky to break even, because these figures im- 
mediately point out the main problem inherent in self- 
distribution; the critical relationship between the gross 
amount of money received and the amount of money 
spent on promotion. A filmmaker involved in self dis- 
tribution is necessarily ego-involved in the product, 
which makes it hard to make these absolutely critical 
decisions: What percentage of our receipts (or harder 
yet, projected receipts) do we spend on promotion — 
what kind of margin is needed? 

This problem is exacerbated in two ways: if one's 
motives for encouraging wide viewership for the film 
are to encourage social change, then what is to prevent 
us (other than total bankruptcy) from spending all our 
money towards these noble ends?; and that, tremen- 

6 



dous sums being involved in theatrical distribution, 
decisions have to be made very rapidly — often by 
sheer intuition. For instance, the size of the daily 
newspaper ad has to be decided days in advance. This 
decision involves thousands of dollars. If your audience 
is shrinking, do you increase the size of your ad to 
reverse the trend, or do you decrease the size because 
you have less revenues, thus risking the possibility of 
adding to the trend? I have always felt I could learn any 
skill I needed in order to make my movies, but in this 
case there just wasn't time. I felt like an ambulance 
driver with an application into medical school being 
forced to do brain surgery in an accident of his own 
causing. 

Next, we opened in New York City with a chain theatre 
(Eastside Cinema of United Artists) where we had a 
standard 90/10 deal (in some ways similar to a four-wall, 
except that the producer is not liable for the costs of 
the house should the gross not cover them — a much 
better arrangement for the small-time producer, provid- 
ed the theatre pays us our share of the receipts in the 
end.) The choice of a theatre is very important, involving 
many considerations which change from city to city. Is 
the theatre available when we want it? Does it have a 
good reputation for a fair count and then payment? Is it 
the right image for the film? (i.e. Do we need a presti- 
gious theatre which will be more expensive, but may 
add to the legitimacy of the film, or will its ritzyness 
turn off our potential audience?). In the case of New 
York, there was much conflicting opinion about where 
we should open, downtown or uptown. We decided that 
the film could benefit from a "prestige" house and got 
the best one available at the time, I have no way of 
knowing if this was the right decision. It was com- 
plicated in our case by the fact that the gay population 
tends to be located more downtown, but the legitimacy 
we gained uptown probably outweighed the disadvan- 
tage. 

Netting $700.00 from our run (still owed to us, I might 
add), we did better in New York — a much more dif- 
ficult market, by the way — because of three lessons 
we learned from San Francisco: #1: You can never 
spend enough on promotion. Advertising possibilities, 
and therefore potential costs, are a bottomless pit. This 
fact is especially dangerous because of lesson #2: 
Unless your campaign is completely inept, more dollars 
spent on advertising always mean more dollars coming 
in. #3: It is important to arrive at a realistic promotion 
budget and then stick to it. The only way to do this is to 
estimate potential receipts, deduct fixed costs such as 
the theatre nut and figure accordingly. This might 
sound elementary, but there are all kinds of forces 
which weigh against this rational process, including 
professional opinions: "It is absolutely impossible to 
open a movie in New York for less than $30,000," or "A 
large portion of your audience doesn't read The Times, 
but your ads are so small they will never be seen," or 
"The image of the theatre you are opening in is 



marginal and so is your movie, so you should open in a 
more "prestige" house as a counterbalance." It is easy 
to answer in panic, "O.K. We will take a daily, full-page 
ad in The Times, and I will see if Radio City Music Hall 
is available." 

Once the decision to arrive at a realistic promotion 
budget has been made, how do you estimate your 
potential box office? This is extremely difficult even for 
people who have had a lot of experience in this area, 
and even if you are dealing with a film which has 
precedents upon which you can base your figures. With 
a specialized product, it is almost impossible. I found 
that my guess (even given my delusions of grandeur) 
was as good as anyone else's, and it was conservatively 
based upon what other documentaries had done. 

Our guess for what to spend on promotion for New 
York turned out to be about right ($15,000). I am very 
proud that we came out in the black for that city, 
because many people warned us that most small films 
lose money on their New York first-runs because of the 
inflated house and advertising expenses there. A New 
York opening is usually a necessity, however. Not only 
is that city the source of most national publicity, but 
also interest of theatrical booking agents across the 
country in a film is often based upon the first week's 
figures of the New York opening — a rather primitive 
practice, it seems to me. However, it benefited us 
because our first week was very good ($20,000). This 
figure allowed us to ask for and get a $10,000 advance 
and a $10,000 advertising guarantee from a theatre in 
Los Angeles. The making of this deal is a very good ex- 
ample of the importance of timing in theatrical distribu- 
tion. Our first week in New York was very good, but the 
figures fell off fast; the second week was $12,000. I 
made the agreement with the L.A. booker at the end of 
the first week. We were both betting on futures. If the 
gross had held up, he would have had exclusive rights 
for a hot film for his area for a good price. If the grosses 
fell — as it turned out they did — we would have been 
offered much less had we waited. 

Somewhere between the New York and LA. openings, 
we made the decision that we could not continue the 
theatrical release ourselves. There were several 
reasons for this, foremost among them that we were ab- 
solutely exhausted. One of the most insidious things 
about theatrical distribution is, not only can you never 
spend enough money, you can also never do enough — 
especially if you tend to be somewhat compulsive any- 
way. There is always another poster to put up, another 
critic to coerce or background writer to enthuse, always 
another community leader who didn't get his free pass 
and on and on. In a way, we were the victims of our own 
success in that I had projected that the film might be 
able to play — at most — five to six theatres around the 
country, and right after New York it was immediately 
evident that it would play ten times this number. 



There didn't seem to be any way to either stop the 
momentum and catch our collective breath or to raise 
additional capital for more help. The problem was made 
worse by the fact that as part of the financing for the 
film, the television rights had been sold (for PBS) to 
WNET nearly two years earlier, and we had an air date 
breathing down our neck. Even though it was on PBS 
and therefore received a minimum audience for televi- 
sion, many more people, perhaps tenfold, saw it this 
way than will ever see it in a theatre. Opinion seems to 
be divided on just what financial impact a national 
broadcast has on a film like ours. It could actually in- 
crease rentals, but theatrical bookers are very hesitant 
to take a film once it has been on television. 

Sometime in April we turned over all distribution of 
WORD IS OUT to New Yorker Films. This brings up a 
very important principle which I call the disparity of pur- 
pose. I suppose it is like the difference between a 
teacher's and a parent's relationship to a child. There is 
no way that a professional whose job is servicing many, 
many films (for example, a lab technician or a publicist) 
can feel the same kind of commitment toward a project 
as a filmmaker who has poured his/her own soul into it. 
Unavoidably, this disparity is the source of untold an- 
xiety for filmmakers. I think it explains why it is so hard 
for filmmakers and distributors to see eye-to-eye. 
People, whether they be filmmakers or distributors, 
who market marginal products such as documentary 
films have to substitute hard work and enormous in- 
genuity for the massive amounts of capital the more 
mainstream films can mobilize in order to pound their 
existence into the consumer's consciousness. Because 
this disparity is endemic to the relationship and 
because it most critically affects the kinds of film that 
need special attention, the independent's selection of 
distributor is especially important — because our films 
cannot be marketed along standard lines. 

Because of our New York gross, we had a number of of- 
fers from distributors for the theatrical rights only. I 
chose New Yorker Films even though they demanded 
both 16 and 35mm rights because I felt that they were 
committed to the political goals of the film. This hunch 
has been borne out. New Yorker has continued our 
policy — uniquely for a distributor, I believe — of hav- 
ing one opening night community benefit in each city in 
which the film plays, being flexible in pricing policy, 
etc. 

There were three reasons for not giving a distributor the 
16mm rights: 1) The reputation that many of them have 
of being outright thieves (probably deserved in many 
cases); 2) The percentage offered to the filmmaker was 
grossly unfair; and 3) That they are after the quick dollar 
and will not continue putting money and energy into 
promotion of the picture to build the non-theatrical 
market, which is initially much slower to grow, but 
ultimately may yield the greatest return. I am pretty 
happy with our agreement with New Yorker Films in 

7 



WORD- IS • OUT 



respect to the above considerations. The company and 
its founder, Dan Talbot, have an absolutely sterling 
reputation for honesty, and our dealings and the detail 
of their producer's report forms support these conten- 
tions. Furthermore, the company has no ownership in 
any chains of theatres, advertising agencies or 
laboratories — a relationship which presents the oppor- 
tunity for all kinds of accounting monkey-business, 
thus obviously affecting the revenues the producer can 
see. 

The folks at New York also point out to me another 
reason (besides cross-collateralization of the financial 
risks of 16 and 35mm distribution) that the same dis- 
tributor should handle both markets. It is very impor- 
tant for the person doing the theatrical booking of the 
film to know that it has not played non-theatrically in a 
particular area before it opens. If we were booking the 
non-theatrical market and accepted a date from the 
University of Wisconsin Gay Caucus, for instance, it 
would most likely eliminate a theatrical date in 
Madison. A simple solution is not to book the non- 
theatrical until the theatrical bookings have run their 
course. But this really isn't a very workable solution. 
There are thousands of potential non-theatrical oppor- 
tunities that would not compete with potential 
theatrical dates. The above conflict would present no 
problem if we knew that there was no theatre in 
Madison that would want the film anyway. 

We were offered our choice of either of two standard 
deals, a 50/50 split with costs off the top, or they would 
pay costs and we would get 30% of their gross. I took 
the 50/50 net deal for two main reasons: First, that I 
believed they would not make outrageous charges. We 
would be doing better under this arrangement until 
the costs as charged against the film run higher than 
40% of the distributor's gross, because then, 100% 
less 40% equals 60%, evenly divided equals 30% to us, 
or the same as what we would be getting under the sec- 
ond arrangement. The second reason was to mitigate 
against the only complaint I have heard about New 
Yorker: that they are stingy on promotion (perhaps just 
undercapitalized or fiscally realistic). A 50/50 net deal 
encourages them to spend more because we are pick- 
ing up half the tab. 

The reverse of this is obvious. If a distributor is likely to 
spend too much or to charge unfair expenses against 
the film, it is to the filmmaker's advantage to go for a 
percentage of the gross. The third safeguard, to insure 
that continued energy will be put into the picture over 
the life of our ten-year contract, was that New Yorker is 
required to spend a certain amount of money every year 
on non-theatrical promotion (figured as a percentage 
against the last year's gross of the film). This includes 
the stipulation that I could decide how that money is 
spent if $l feel that they are promoting the film ineffec- 
tively. 

Whether this decision to go with the distributor — even 
given the safeguards — was a wise one, we will not 
8 



know for some time. I am greatly relieved not to have to 
spend a seventh full-time year on the film; and I also 
think that, from a political point of view, New Yorker is 
a good choice in the way they have promoted the film, 
in listening to our feelings, in accepting and in some 
way encouraging the political benefits. I feel sorry that 
they will not put the kind of energy or zeal behind the 
film that we did, but then I do not think anyone would. 

I should now like to return to the original point of this 
rambling report: my observations regarding the 
theatrical distribution of documentaries. Films of an 
hour or less in length have a much easier time for two 
reasons, the most obvious of which is that they are 
usually cheaper to make, not only because they are 
shorter, but also because they usually are of more 
limited scope and production value; and secondly, their 
main market, non-theatrical sales and rental, is much 
more predictable. If there is no good short film on a par- 
ticular subject of current interest, there is a very good 
chance that yours will find a niche, particularly if it is 
competently made. There exists no such assurance in 
the theatrical market. 

Furthermore, all kinds of other considerations exist in a 
theatrical situation. The basis of the problem for 
feature-length documentaries in theatres, is, on the sur- 
face, very simple. It's extremely expensive to operate a 
movie theatre, so in order for a film to be economically 
viable, a certain base number of people must want to 
see it to cover the base costs — more people, it seems, 
than generally patronize documentaries. Theatres, 
depending upon age, prestige, location, etc. cost from 
$1 to $5 per seat per day. They compete primarily with 
each other for the limited box office dollars. Theatre 
owners and distributors, therefore, are forced to spend 
enormous sums of money on promotion to draw cus- 
tomers to their particular product. By far the largest 
part of this promotion is newspaper ads, by which most 
people decide what movie they want to see. 

In this discussion of promotion, I am limiting myself to 
paid advertising, which presupposes for small films 
such as ours maximum use of all alternative free 
avenues for letting potential audiences know about 
your film: reviews, background articles, flyers, radio and 
TV talk shows, etc. Now what I am saying is that no film 
can survive in a theatrical situation without advertising, 
and a lot of it (in large metropolitan markets, usually a 
minimum of thousands of dollars a week.) Therefore, a 
certain amount of advertising must be considered a 
fixed cost. From what I have learned, the minimum level 
of these fixed costs is, ironically, the same for little 
films such as ours as it would be for much larger ones. 
In other words, because the economics of the theatrical 
marketplace (including inflated fixed costs) are set by 
films with much larger amounts of operating capital, 
most documentaries at present are simply not economi- 
cally viable in theatres — a horrible prospect. 

A facile answer to this situation is that Americans, and 
perhaps audiences all over the world, prefer to see 



WORD • IS • OUT 




MARIP 



osa| 



The Mariposa Film Group 



WORD • IS • OUT 



escapist entertainment at the movies, but actually there 
is another, perhaps less depressing reason and that 
has to do with people's expectations. In order to get 
people to drop what they are doing and come down to 
the movie theatre and pay money, you have to make 
them feel that it will be potentially worth it to take this 
risk. In advertising or promoting a product, what you are 
trying to do is manipulate people's expectations. This 
is exactly why the star system works. I may know 
precious little about a movie before I go see it — only 
that some, usually idiotic, critic liked it or didn't, and 
that it had an intriguing or perhaps disgusting ad cam- 
paign. (For the time being, I am leaving out the effect of 
word-of-mouth which is something — Thank God — 
that no one has any control over anyway.) The only 
other thing that I may know about a movie — the only 
other kind of guarantee I may have — is that there will 
be someone in it whom I have liked in other movies, be 
is ZaSu Pitts or John Travolta. So how bad could the 
film be? 

The answer is, very bad. But the star system continues 
to work even if I am ripped off by that particular film, 
because I am still in the same place for the next movie, 
except perhaps that I might have changed my opinion 
of that star for having been in such a tacky vehicle. 

Now unfortunately, in the case of documentaries, the 
main expectations stem from people's experience see- 
ing other documentaries. There exists a real dichotomy 
in people's minds between "The Movies" and documen- 
taries. Their expectations of a documentary are basical- 
ly negative. In order for a film to justify for me the time, 
bother and expense that going to the theatre entails, it 
must at the very least be entertaining. I guess by enter- 
taining I mean not-boring, by not-boring I mean well- 
made, spirited, amusing, non-rhetorical, un-righteous — 
and if I'm real lucky, enlightening; in short, everything 
that most documentaries are not. The bulk of people's 
experience has been negative in two ways: in the view- 
ing context ("Well children, today we are going to see 
an interesting film as part of health class," or "Coming 
right up after Rhoda will be a CBS news special on the 
canned food industry,") or by virtue of the films 
themselves (in the above context HOW TO PREVENT 
DENTAL PLAQUE or BOTULISM: PRO OR CON). If this 
is what people have been brought up to think of as 
documentaries, no wonder we are losing to our com- 
petition, whether it be STAR WARS or THE BATTLE OF 
ALGIERS. The problem for documentaries is that they 
are competing not with other specific films but with 
another whole category. In other words, a potential 
customer might choose ANNIE HALL over HESTER 
STREET because he/she liked Diane Keaton or the drag 
she was wearing in the advertising campaign, or read a 
rave review of the film, or whatever. But more often 
than not, the reason that one would or would not 
choose a documentary over one of the above movies is 
that one liked or did not like the form itself. It is a very 
frustrating battle for us because not only is the quality 
of the film you made often irrelevant, but the quality of 
the hype as well. 
10 



In distributing WORD IS OUT, I was, of course, aware of 
the problems of theatrical distribution for documen- 
taries. But other people's knowledge and experience 
have never had much effect on me — I am always 
suspicious of reality. I felt that WORD IS OUT had a 
good chance of being a breakthrough for a very specific 
reason: it had an identifiable target audience — gay 
people. Because of the film's unique importance to a 
specific audience, I thought it would have more of a 
chance in theatres than some of its ill-fated prede- 
cessors; and I think to some extent this is the reason it 
performed as well as it did. However, I overestimated 
this potential support because I underestimated the ex- 
tent of people's negative expectations of documen- 
taries even when the subject at hand is something that 
very directly affects their own lives. I guess there is a 
large portion of any oppressed minority that feels that 
the last movie they want to see is one about their own 
oppression — something they are forced to live with, 
every day of their lives. But the people who could most 
benefit from seeing WORD IS OUT (whether they be 
straight people who are especially homophobic or gay 
people who are victims of internalized oppression) are 
often the least likely to want to see it. This isn't to say 
that the film only speaks to the initiated (or for that mat- 
ter, that it doesn't have a lot to offer even this "elite" 
group), because it has had a wide audience which will 
become much wider (in the millions) when it is broad- 
cast. But this points out a classical problem of 
consciousness-raising. Surely the most insidious 
aspects of psychological oppression are its built-in 
mechanisms to insure its own invisibility to those peo- 
ple it most affects. 

A further irony, and one which in the case of our film is 
particularly unjust, is that it isn't what people expect it 
to be, i.e. it does not meet the negative expectations of 
potential audiences. In other words, the film is not what 
most documentaries are. It is well-crafted, non- 
rhetorical, entertaining, etc. If we are to judge from the 
overwhelming positive reaction from the audience to 
WORD IS OUT, people did indeed think they got their 
time and money's worth (judging either by the feel in 
the theatre before and after a showing, or from the 
2,000 audience response forms we got back, where the 
first question was "Would you recommend this film to 
a friend?" and only fourteen said "No" — which is a 
99.3% positive reaction). 

From a purely financial point of view, deducting all the 
costs including theatre rental, or their share of the 
receipts, our time spent in promotion (even at the $2.50 
per hour we were paid), and the price of the blow-up, the 
theatrical release has been a marginal success. The 
final figures are not yet in. The film is still playing 
theatres; eight 35mm prints are constantly criss- 
crossing the country; but I suspect that eventually the 
film will end up making some money (I hesitate to 
guess, but probably somewhere between 25-50 thou- 
sand) which will go toward paying back the production 
costs of the film itself. 



WORD- IS • OUT 



The economic future of this film in its other markets 
looks pretty good. The reason for this involves the one 
real financial benefit of the theatrical release, the one 
that in spite of the above negativity makes limited 
theatrical release of documentaries financially advan- 
tageous. This advantage involves the image of the film 
created in the minds of our potential audience. By hav- 
ing it in theatres with all the attendant reviews, publi- 
city and prestige, the main (non-theatrical) market for 
the film is obviously strengthened. Not only do more 
potential 16mm users now know about the film, but 
some are more likely to rent it sight unseen for two 
reasons: First, they might have read some of the 
reviews printed nationally; and second, in many of their 
minds, the film has gained credibility because it was 
part of the Big Time. In other words, it has lost some of 
the onus of being a documentary. 

Ultimately, I suppose my disappointment over the past 
nine months stems from my expectations or fantasies 
for the film. Because of the entertaining aspects of 
WORD IS OUT, audience response, its meaning to a 



specific group of people at a critical time in their 
history, the energy and zeal of the people working on 
the distribution and the availability of some promo- 
tional capital, I felt that the film might break with the 
history of other films of its kind and become a genuine 
box-office success. I now realize that this was un- 
realistic and think that we failed; but the good feeling is 
that it is because of the realities of the marketplace, 
and not because we did not care, did not believe, did 
not try. We gave it every ounce of our energy and in the 
face of a number of factors which were very frightening. 
Foremost among them, and the reason for this verbose 
report, was that we had to commit to spent a lot of 
money. 

I have always felt that the main market for our film 
would be something along the line of New Day Films, 
and looking back I can see that what we did will aid that 
original intention. I suppose that the theatrical run, 
when judged not by my expectations, but by the perfor- 
mance of other films like ours, other documentaries, (a 
qualifier I begrudgingly begin to use when asked how 
the film is doing) was a success. 





WORD IS OUT 



11 




.fa^VMkfile 



JESSIE MAPLE 



INTERVIEWED 



by Jan Worthington, edited by Bill Jones 

In 1974, Jessie Maple joined IATSE Local 644 as an 
assistant camerawoman, thus making her the first 
Black woman in the United States to do so. In August of 
1976 she was reclassified as a Newsreel camera- 
woman. She began looking for freelance work. Soon 
after her reclassification the business manager of 
IATSE Local 644 went to each commercial television 
station and told the crew supervisors not to hire her . . . 
and they complied. In November of 1976 Jessie Maple 
sued ABC and CBS for discrimination on the basis of 
race, color, and sex. She settled her case with ABC and 
was able to work again in the industry. The CBS case 
was ordered reopened in March of 1977 by Human 
Rights Commissioner, Eleanor Holmes Norton. 

12 



Today, Jessie Maple lives in New York City and works 
as a freelance camerawoman. She and her husband 
Leroy Patton (who's a cameraman) are currently work- 
ing on their third film mtitled "WILL". Their first two 
films are: "METHADONE: EVIL SPIRIT OR WONDER 
DRUG?" and "BLACK ECONOMIC POWER: REALITY 
OR FANTASY?" Jessie tells her story in her book 
"HOW TO BECOME A UNION CAMERAWOMAN" 
published m 1977. 



I am a member of IBEW Local 1212 and I have worked 
as a tape camerawoman for the last five years. Recent- 
ly, I spent an afternoon with Jessie. She talked about 
her struggle with the union, her films, and her wish to 
remain independent. JW. 



Jessie Maple 



J.M. I just got my F.C.C. license. 

J.W. That's very ambitious. 

J.M. It's not so difficult. You just have to lock yourself 
in a room for two weeks and study. 

J.W. Now that your case with the networks has been 
settled, what are you doing? 

J.M. Well, I just had my classification changed from 
newsreel cameraperson to commercial cameraperson. 
That gives me the chance to shoot commercials and 
features. 

J.W. Is this pretty much the position you want to be in? 

J.M. Oh yeah. You see I was able to work as a news 
cameraperson for CBS until they finally switched over 
to tape, for a year and a half. So I was able to overcome 
them originally saying I was incompetent and the whole 
bit — which I knew that I wasn't, otherwise I wouldn't 
have been able to stand up under it. Because the first 
six weeks I was there the news director and the pro- 
ducer would view my footage frame by frame. Now if 
you're a cameraperson you understand that shooting 
news is not like, say, shooting documentaries where 
you have a chance to set up and all. When you shoot 
news you go out there and you hit the button the se- 
cond the action starts and you're all over the place. So 
they were being overly critical until I explained to them 
that I thought this was pretty silly and that they weren't 
going to upset me, that they were wasting their time. 

J.W. They were just doing it to hassle you. 

J.M. Yeah, but that stopped them. 

J.W. How do you get along now? 

J.M. Just fine. Just like nothing ever happened. Once 
they saw I could do the job there was no more problem. 

J.W. That's interesting because I used to do a tape 
camera at major league baseball and I found a lot of 
continuing resistance, but maybe that's because it's 
such a male-dominated sport. 

J.M. In newsreel it might just be that the guys have got- 
ten used to having the women there. Maybe when I start 
shooting commercials it'll be different. At first in 
newsreel it was more difficult for the men to accept. 
They're used to seeing women as in the home. You 
know most of them are older and married. Then they get 
a woman comes out and starts havin' to be the boss. 
It's brand new to them. The younger guys — I think they 
see it different, they don't have such a problem. I've 
heard other women say they had problems. The men 
don't want them to shoot with the camera, just pull 
cable or do sound. It was that way when I took classes. 
The girls did editing and production assistance. When 
it came to sound and shooting the camera, all the boys 
did that. 

J.W. Good with our hands, like cooking and stuff. 

J.M. Yeah (laughs). But I never had that much trouble 
with getting along. You know there's some cameramen 
they be sayin' "he's the best" and I guess maybe you 



be wishin' someday they be sayin' you the best, but I 
always knew I could do it or otherwise I don't think I'd 
have even gone to court. When you go out as newsreel 
camera you gotta be able to bring the story back. Like I 
was out with J.J. Gonzales on the milk strike, and the 
police say they were gonna bring the horses in 
(mounted police to break up a crowd) and J.J. says 
"Don't go in there" to me. He was actually holding me 
'cause it was dangerous. Now if I went back to the net- 
work without a story — they don't care if it's 
dangerous. So I didn't let it stop me and got a story. J.J. 
and I got a letter sayin' how brave we was and all when 
in fact it was Monica, my sound woman, and me that 
went in there with the rioting and all and J.J. who was 
tryin' to hold us back. He sayin' "Look out Jesse a 
horse gonna run over you." And I sayin' "let go of me 
J. J., you gonna get me killed." (laughs) Doin' news you 
gotta learn to protect youself. But I've been in many 
situations where it was the men who were afraid to go. 



WJ 




WILL , Jessie Maple 

J.W. Are there many more women in film camera now 
than there were when you started? 

J.M. Not that many, but maybe it's because most are 
now going into tape. I was kind of disappointed that 
after me more women didn't come into the union, in 
particular blacks. In my local 644 there isn't a black 
woman assistant and I'm still the only black woman in 
freelance. There's one other black woman in the union 
but she's workin' for ABC on staff and she'll be goin' 
over to tape. I don't know what the reason is. I get let- 
ters from women who want to, but it's not easy. You 
gotta work. 

J.W. Do you think that young women in school know 
about the opportunities in film work? 

J.M. When I wrote my book (HOW TO BECOME A 
UNION CAMERAWOMAN) I intended it to be 
distributed in the schools, but somehow I could never 
get it past the boards of education. The book is in 
libraries. 

J.W. Let's change the subject and talk about your 
latest film, WILL. 

13 



Jessie Maple 



J.M. The finishing of the film got delayed because I 
had the chance to work as a camera woman. Leroy Pat- 
ten and I shot the film while I was with CETA Media 
Works. Then I got a grant from New York State Council 
for the Arts to edit it, but I felt that while I was working I 
couldn't give my fullest to my own film. Now I've got an 
editing facility arranged. I'll start in January and I give 
myself until June to finish. 

J.W. What's it about? 

J.M. The story is about Will. We pick him up when he's 
goin' through withdrawal. He's a middle class drug ad- 
dict (laughs). His wife works so he didn't have to steal. 
So he's been sayin' for a long time that he's gonna quit 
but he never does. Then he really decides to and his 
wife wants him to go to one of the centers but he 
doesn't want to. He wants to quit cold turkey. So while 
he's kickin' it he meets this little boy who he likes and 
they develop this relationship. 

J.W. Did you write the script? 

J.M. Yeah, and then I got Anthony Wisdom to help me, 
because it was something we had to do very fast. We 
only had the equipment for two weeks. We shot it in 17 
days. 

J.W. Who performed what roles on the shoot? 

J.M. I was the director and my husband (Leroy Patten) 
was director of photography and camera operator. Mike 
Jacobsohn did most of the sound, but we all over- 
lapped. Everybody did a little of everything. It was all 
shot on the streets of Harlem and some at Kennedy 



Center. It was the first time I had worked with actors, 
and these were stage actors who didn't understand film 
shoots. You know, why you have to look the same each 
day when one scene stretches out over more than one 
day. And we used some non-actors. For example we 
were shooting a scene which has a basketball game at 
Kennedy Center and we used the kids who were there. 
Anyway the team that was supposed to lose was the 
better team and they couldn't understand why they had 
to lose so they kept winning the games we were film- 
ing. We finally straightened it out. 

J.W. Do you have plans for distribution? 

J.M. Oh yeah, we'll try to show it on television and get 
theatrical distribution but I always figure that they all 
lead to something. Like if I hadn't had my first two films 
to show I wouldn't have got the grant to finish WILL. 
But this film is a commercial film unlike my first two 
films, METHADONE and BLACK ECONOMIC POWER, 
which were editorial statements. WILL is a film that's 
not gonna bother anybody. 

J.W. You went through a lot of difficult times to get 
where you are today, yet you're not at all bitter. Why is 
that? 

J.M. It's because I knew what I was getting into. I knew 
that there were laws to help me but that you had to do it 
yourself. I was asked once if I thought the struggle I 
went through made me a better cameraperson, and I 
said "no, I knew I was qualified before I started." 
Anyway I grew up in Mississippi and if you can get out 
of there you can get through anything. 




On the set of WILL 



:m\& smsMMm 



Peer Panel Gagged At WN ET 



by RICH BERKOWITZ 



Last spring, independents met at AIVF to make recom- 
mendations for distributing the money earmarked for 
them in the Telecommunications Financing Act. The 
system of peer review panels outlined in this legislation 
was strongly supported as a way to ensure maximum 
diversity and to democratize the selection process for 
independent work. The Carnegie Commission, the 
Alternative Cinema Conference, the recent Independent 
Feature Project, and the Media Arts Center Conference 
all supported peer review in their final position papers. 

WNET's recent decision to approve a peer review panel 
to select films for the third season of Independent 
Focus was considered a major breakthrough for New 
York independents, whose unified pressure first in- 
spired the local series. Marc Weiss, who was hired to 
coordinate the new season, was instrumental in con- 
vincing WNET that a panel representing a cross-section 
of the independent community would strengthen the 
selection process. 

The seven-member panel included: 

Eric Brietbard — Associate Director, Film Forum (a 
showcase for independent films); 
filmmaker; writer. 

Vicky Gholson — Education and media specialist; in- 
dependent producer; co-chair, 
media advocacy committee, Black 
Producers Association. 

Barbara Kopple — Producer/Director, Harlan County, 
U.S.A. (1977 Academy Award, Best 
Documentary Feature); Board of 
Directors, The Film Fund. 

Al Levin — Award-winning THIRTEEN public af- 

fairs producer and documentary 
filmmaker. 

Julio Pabon —Project Director, Recruitment and 
Training Program (a training and 
placement agency); organizer of the 
West Bronx Higher Ground Cinema 
and Cultural Center. 



Greta Schiller — 



William Sloan — 



Independent video and film pro- 
ducer; staff member, Women Make 
Movies. 

Head Librarian, New York Public 
Library Film Library; Editor, Film 
Library Quarterly; programmer, 
Museum of Modern Art. 



Each new season of Independent Focus has generated 
some excitement for independents, who are under- 
standably eager to see ach other's work made acces- 
sible to as large a viewing audience as possible. The 



community involvement that is necessary in the peer 
review process raised hopes that WNET could become 
responsive not only to independents, but to their 
diverse communities of viewers as well. "We expect to 
demonstrate that independent programming can be 
among the most challenging on television," predicted 
Marc Weiss. Such hopes, it now seems, were naive. As 
WNET's dependence on corporate funding seems to be 
steadily increasing, so is the station's concern about 
its public image. 

In announcing their selections for the third season of 
Independent Focus, WNET imposed serious infringe- 
ments on the peer review panel process, infringements 
which threaten to undermine the validity of this kind of 
decision-making. Even before the announcement was 
made, members of this year's review panel were already 
pressuring for what they considered to be a long- 
overdue meeting with WNET executives responsible for 
final decisions on the series; this input had thus far 
been limited to an introductory meeting with series 
Director Liz Oliver. In spite of WNET President Jay 
Iselin's apparent concern and confidence regarding the 
peer panelists (The Independent Vol. 2, #9), each of 
whom was approved by WNET, no one considered it ap- 
propriate to feel responsible to the panel members 
when four films they had chosen were axed without 
comment by Liz Oliver and other WNET programming 
executives, who have yet to be identified by name. 

Not only does this insult the professional credibility of 
the panelists, it also exploits the demanding work they 
have done. Panelists should have been consulted on 
the exclusion of these films. Not to do so compromises 
the democracy of peer review and callously reduces the 
work of the panel to a mere buffer, subsidizing the ad- 
ministrative cost of sifting through hundreds of films 
so WNET won't have to. 

WNET must be held accountable for the reasons these 
four films were dropped, and should not expect Marc 
Weiss, an outside consultant, to act as their go- 
between. If peer review panels are to be effectively and 
justly employed in the future — and they must — then 
the process must include at least one meeting between 
the panel and the station's programming executives, 
after the work has been reviewed by both sides. In 
response to WNET rejections, the panel requested in 
writing a full explanation from Independent Focus 
Series director Liz Oliver, describing the standards by 
which these decisions were made. Her response in 
each of the cases was remarkable for its subjectivity. 
Although all four films were clearly controversial in 
nature, Oliver's stated objection to the films never 
touched on the issues themselves. 
Following page FINALLY GOT THE NEWS 15 




i 









.'•• .'■:- 






















PEER PANEL GAGGED AT WNET 



HUimiUIMHI 



The four films which were dropped, Stew Bird's Finally 
Got The News, Robert Van Leerop's Povo 
Organizado, Jan Oxen berg's A Comedy in Six Unnatural 
Acts and Kartemquin Films' The Chicago Maternity 
Center Story, are examples of the diversity and 
challenge that the panel was hoping to achieve, and 
was allegedly hired to represent (Third World people, 
workers, the poor, women, gays, etc.). The exclusion of 
these films, which are likely to be considered "con- 
troversial" outside of the communities in which they 
were produced, raises serious questions as to how the 
other films were chosen. 

Finally Got the News is a documentary about Marxist 
attempts to organize black workers on the line in 
Detroit's automobile plants. Oliver's explanation for re- 
jecting the film was that the material is dated and we 
don't know where the people are today. Although the 
film was made in 1970, factory conditions haven't 
changed; and considering the militant stance of the 
films, such a rationale is falsely naive. The objection to 
The Chicago Maternity Center Story is the use of an 
"anonymous disembodied narrator". Since this tech- 
nique has long been a traditional device in American 
documentaries, it would seem that the only time the 
omniscent narrator is found objectionable is when s/he 
adopts a perspective that is inconsistent with main- 
stream thought. Concerning O Povo Organizado, a mili- 
tant black film set in Mozambique, Oliver found the nar- 
ration overbearing, passages in the script weak, and the 
information "dry and very specific". 

Liz Oliver may have gotten more than she bargained for 
when she agreed to meet on December 13 with angry 
constituents from the New York-based National 
Association of Lesbian and Gay Filmmakers (NALGF) 
and community representatives of New York's National 
Gay Task Force. WNET has a history of censoring gay 
programs (or even gay moments in non-gay programs). 
NALGAF's anger is focused on Oliver's decision to- 
drop Jan Oxenberg's A Comedy in Six Unnatural Acts. 
According to Oliver, "In addition to the basic technical 
limitations from which the film suffered, the perfor- 
mances were uneven, and the actors often were not 
able to deliver lines with either the timing or intonation 
necessary to carry off the parody effectively. . ." 

WNET's refusal to include Oxenberg's film, despite 
unanimous support by the peer review panel for its in- 
clusion in this season's Independent Focus, has 
outraged New York's gay filmmakers who live and work 
in one of the largest gay communities in the country. 
What excuse will Oliver offer, when in its ten-year 
history WNET has only partially funded one gay produc- 
tion, and has aired only two gay programs (PBS' excep- 
tional production of THE WAR WIDOW and Peter 
Adair's WORD IS OUT)? 

Those of us who attended AlVF's recent screening of 
Frank Vitale's Montreal Main were surprised to discover 
that a key scene involving homosexual affection be- 
tween two main characters was cut out of the version 
WNET aired last year on Independent Focus. Many 

18 



assumed the films were aired unedited. It seems that in 
many subtle ways, pressure is put on independents to 
make what the stations describe as "a few insignificant 
changes." This subtle pressure is behind the homogen- 
ization of television and perpetuates its consistently 
conventional programming. 

According to panelist Greta Schiller who met with 
Oliver on Dec. 13, "Liz classified programming for the 
gay community as 'public affairs'. She cited things like 
a Dick Cavett interview with Christopher Isherwood as 
gay programming. Halfway through the meeting we 
were shocked to discover that two of Iselin's assistants 
who were there defending the decision not to air Oxen- 
berg's film hadn't even bothered to see it." 

How can Oliver rationalize axing Oxenberg's film on the 
basis of "technical limitations" when WNET is always 
eager to air the black and white portapack productions 
of Alan and Susan Raymond? Considering this, one can 
only hope that "technical quality" is not inconsistently 
or selectively-used reasoning, or even a rationale 
disguising censorship. Without ever having met one 
another, the peer review panel and WNET's decision- 
makers agreed on airing twenty-four out of twenty-eight 
films. Since this seems like a high percentage of agree- 
ment, one wonders why Oliver didn't confront the panel 
over the discrepancy concerning Oxenberg's film. Or 
was it the film itself that Oliver didn't want to confront? 

Oliver's meeting with concerned gays was only the 
first. Organizing efforts in the black community had 
already begun. A coalition of black, latino, gay and 
other concerned independents has united to organize 
support in independent media and community groups. 
According to panelist Vicky Gholson, "Serious policy 
and procedural questions arise if the situation is left as 
it is." 

The independent community has suddenly been 
mobilized and united around these circumstances at 
WNET. WNET knows that they can choose what pro- 
grams they want to air; but they can't choose the com- 
munities they are obligated to represent. If WNET is 
sincere in its concern for all its audiences and com- 
munities, they will have the opportunity in upcoming 
weeks to pass a cumulative test of such sincerity. 



A Comedy 
InSix 
Unnatural 
Acts 

JanOxenberg 




RfflltBM MMIRO 



C.EB. HEARS FOOTSTEPS 

Minimum legal response to independent needs 
outlined inC.P.B. memo. 



MEMORANDUM 

TO: Elizabeth L. Shriver, Esquire 

FROM: Theodore D. Frank 

RE: CPB Funding of Independent 

Television Productions 

DATE: September 18, 1979 

The purpose of this Memorandum is to give you our 
preliminary views concerning CPB's obligation to finance 
independent television products under the Public 
Telecommunications Financing Act of 1978. Specifically, 
you have asked (1) whether CPB is required by the Public 
Telecommunications Financing Act of 1978 or its legislative 
history to set aside specific amounts for the funding of 
programs to be produced by independent producers, (2) 
whether CPB's obligation to fund independent productions 
exists without regard to system priorities or the quality, 
diversity or innovativeness of program proposals, and (3) 
whether CPB is required to fund those programs directly 
ormay fund them indirectly, by making grants to. PBS or to 
the stations. Under such a scheme, PBS or the stations 
could in turn make awards either for a specific 
independently-produced program or use the CPB funds for 
the production of independent programs generally. 

SUMMARY OF CONCLUSIONS 

While CPB is required under the Act to reserve a 
"substantial amount" of its programming funds for 
distribution to independent producers, there is no specific 
statutory requirement that it set aside a fixed amount 
which may be used only for this purpose. Rather, CPB has 
discretion regarding the manner in which this requirement 
is satisfied, both with respect to the amounts to be reserved 
and the manner in which programs are to be funded. There 
is nothing in the Act or its legislative history which 
indicates that Congress intended this obligation to 
transcend CPB's general statutory duties to foster high 
quality, diversified, creative and responsive programming. 
Similarly, there is nothing in the Act or its legislative 
history which would deprive CPB of its flexibility to decide 
how best to fund the production of these programs. 
Consequently, CPB is free either to fund independent 
productions directly or to fund them indirectly, by making 
grants to the stations or to PBS for the purpose of funding 
independent programs. 

DISCUSSION 

Section 396 (k) (3) (B) (i) of the Act specifically requires 
CPB to reserve "a substantial amount" of its programming 
budget "for distribution to independent producers and 
production entities for the production of programs." 1 
Section 396 (g) (2) (B) 2 authorizes CPB to make 



programming awards to independent producers and 
production entities, as well as to PBS and to public broad- 
casting stations. Consequently, it is clear that CPB is 
required to make funds available for the production of 
programs by independent producers and that it may make 
those awards directly. 

Although Section 396 (k) (3) (B) requires CPB to reserve 
funds for distribution to independent producers, a review 
of the legislative history indicates that Congress did not 
intend to require CPB to establish a set-aside of a fixed 
amount which could be used only for independent 
producers. The legislative history indicates the requirement 
was designed 

to encourage the Corporation to increase the diversity of 
programming sources by supporting the work of 
producers who are not employed by public 
telecommunications entities. 3 

Congress believed that the system had operated in the past 
in a manner which tended to exclude independent 
producers.' 1 It also believed that these producers were a 
potential source of creative, innovative and diversified 
programs which could be obtained at significantly lower 
costs than programs produced within the system. 5 
Accordingly, it provided that funds were to be made 
available for this purpose. 

At the same time, however, there is nothing in the 
legislative history which indicates that Congress intended 
to restrict CPB's flexibility to achieve that goal. Indeed, the 
contrary is the case. Thus, the Senate Report, while making 
it clear that "small producers deserve a more open market- 
place for their products," stated that the Committee 
rejected suggestions to establish a specific set-aside for this 
purpose because it is not possible "to legislate creativity." 6 
And, the Conference Report described the obligation to fund 
independent producers in the following manner: 

The conferees also agree that a 'substantial' amount of 
the funds allocated for programming by CPB should be 
reserved for independent producers. In agreeing to the 
term 'substantial amount' for independent producers, it 
is the conferees' intention to recognize the important 
contribution independent producers can make in 
innovative and creative new programming. By 
'independent producers' the conferees have in mind 
producers not affiliated with any public telecommunica- 
tions entity and especially the smaller independent 
organizations and individuals who, while talented, may 
not yet have received national recognition. The talents of 
these producers have not been adequately utilized in the 
past. While setting aside a specific percentage of funds 
for this purpose would have removed discretion in the 
administration of the Corporation's funds, the conferees 
fully expect the Corporation to take the necessary steps 
to increase the level of participation previously available 
to these smaller independent producers. 7 _ 



C PB hears footsteps 



This intention to preserve CPB's discretion here is 
consistent with Congress' decision not to set a 25% 
statutory set-aside for national programming because such 
a set-aside would interfere with CPB's flexibility. 8 

Consequently, while it is clear that CPB must reserve funds 
for independent producers, it is also clear that CPB has 
leeway to determine the amount of funds reserved for these 
purposes. 9 Moreover, the language of the Conference Report 
indicates that Congress viewed the obligation to reserve 
funds for independent producers not as a pre-eminent goal 
but as a vehicle for the realization of CPB's general 
responsibility — to foster the production of programs of 
high quality, creativity, diversity and innovation.' Clearly, 
there is no indication that Congress intended that its 
concern for the plight of the independent producers was to 
override CPB's other statutory objectives. Accordingly, it 
would follow that CPB must possess reasonable discretion 
with respect to the manner in which it pursues those 
various statutory goals, including the funding of 
independent producers. Therefore, CPB cannot be required 
to fund programs produced by independent producers 
without regard to system priorities, nor can it be required 
to fund independently- produced programs without regard 
to the quality, creativity or innovative nature of those 
programs. Construing Section 396 (k) (3) (B) to require CPB 
to fund independent producers in these circumstances 
would make that obligation paramount. Indeed, the intent 
of Congress was to increase access of independent 
producers in order to foster creativity and diversity. It 
would be ironic if this goal were undermined by setting 
arbitrary amounts to be distributed only to independent 
producers. 

Finally, the manner in which those funds are made 
available is within CPB's discretion. There is nothing in the 
statute or its legislative history which indicates that CPB is 
required to make grants directly to independent producers 
rather than making them to PBS or the stations, which 
would then use the money to acquire specific programs 
produced by independents or for the production of 
programs by independents generally. 

Thus, as discussed in Harry Plotkin's letter of August 20, 
1979, CPB retains its broad discretion to determine how to 
achieve its statutory goals and may elect to make grants to 
PBS and to the stations for the purpose of those entities 
funding independent productions. 

In sum, CPB's statutory obligation to reserve programming 
funds for distribution to independent producers must be 
read as only a part of CPB's overall statutory 
responsibilities. It was not intended to deprive CPB of its 
discretion to determine how best to achieve its statutory 
responsibilities nor was it intended to create an obligation 
which overrode CPB's other statutory requirements. 
Rather, the legislative history indicates that it was designed 
to insure greater access by independent producers in order 
to foster the existing statutory goals. Consequently, while 
CPB must insure that funds are made available for the 
production of programs by independent producers, the 
amount of funds made available and the manner in which 
they are made available is basically within CPB's discretion. 

1 The full text of the Section reads as follows: 

The Corporation shall establish an annual budget according to 
which it shall make grants and contracts for production of 
public television or radio programs by independent producers 
and production entities and public telecommunications entities, 
for acquisition of such programs by public telecommunications 



entities, for interconnection facilities and operations, for 
distribution of funds among public telecommunications entities, 
and for engineering and program-related research. A significant 
portion of funds available under the budget established by the 
Corporation under this subparagraph shall be used for funding 
the production of television and radio programs. Of such portion, 
a substantial amount shall be reserved for distribution to 
independent producers and production entities for the production 
of programs. 
47 U.S.C. §396 (k) (3) (B) (i) (1978). 

2 47 U.S.C. §396 (g) (2) (B) (1978). 

3 H. Rep. No. 1178, 95th Cong., 2d Sess. 26 (1978). 

4 H. Rep. No. 1178, supra at 23, 33; H. Rep. No. 1774, 95th Cong., 
2d Sess. 30 (1978); 124 Cong. Rec. H6316 (July 10, 1978) (Daily 
Ed.). 

5 H. Rep. No. 1774, supra at 30; H. Rep. No. 1178, supra at 33-35; S. 
Rep. No. 858, 95th Cong., 2d Sess. 18 (1978). 

6 S. Rep. No. 858, supra at 18; see also H. Rep. No. 1178, supra at 
35. 

7 H. Rep. No. 1774, supra at 30. 

8 H. Rep. No. 1178, supra at 34. 

9 A review of the legislative history indicates that CPB could 
reasonably interpret the requirement to reserve a "substantial 
amount" for independent producers to mean something between 
25% and 50% of its national program budget. At several points in 
the legislative history of the Bill, Congress used the term 
"substantial" or similar language as equivalent to 25%. For 
example, when Congress modified a proposed requirement that 25% 
of the facilities funds be devoted to radio, it imposed a requirement 
that a "substantial amount" be used for the purpose. 47 U.S.C. §393 
(d) H. Rep. No. 1775, supra at 24. Similarly, when it changed the 
requirement that 25% of CPB's funds were to be devoted to national 
programming, it required a "significant" amount be used for that 
purpose. H. Rep. No. 1774, supra at 34; 47 U.S.C. §396 (k) (3) (B) (i). 
On the other hand, a colloquy between Congressmen Waxman and 
Van Deerlin indicates that the House Committee viewed the phrase 
as meaning 50%. 124 Cong. Rec. H6316 (July 10, 1978) (Daily Ed.). 
While normally this colloquy would be entitled to great weight in 
determining the meaning of the phrase, Congress' clear intention to 
give CPB discretion to determine the level of funding for independent 
programming significantly lessens the colloquy's important. Reading 
it as determinative, or nearly determinative, would remove the very 
discretion Congress specifically gave CPB. 

10 See also H. Rep. No. 1178, supra at 26, 33-35; S. Rep. No. 858, 
supra at 18. For CPB's statutory responsibilities regarding diversity, 
excellence and innovativeness in programming, see 47 U.S.C. §396 
(g) (1) (A) (1978). 



NEW PROGRAM 
FUND HEAD 

STORY ^ ^ 
ON PAGE 2 2 




Lewis Freed man 



20 



m/h MiMmm 



ADVOCACY DIRECTORY 

COALITIONS BUILD IN MEDIA ADVOCACY by Uohtl RtCB 



The potential for using the media as an instrument for 
social change becomes much more powerful when 
media groups can come together and broaden bases of 
support. As the future delivery of communications 
changes (disk and tape distribution, satellite distribu- 
tion via cable or direct to home), people will in essence 
become their own "active" programmers. Conduits for 
information regarding the possibilities of alternative 
issue production and programming will inevitably be 
needed. Media and citizens' organizations must find 
ways to share this information. 

These groups currently are involved with organizing 
public hearings or stating positions in the forms of rule- 
making or proposed legislation to Congress and the 
FCC. Recent access legislation, such as the last 
guarantee of local origination cable channels (the 
Midwest Decision), or the ominous spectre of de- 
regulation of television broadcast public licensees, is 
currently being debated within the various constituen- 
cies that these groups represent. There is clearly an 
urgent need to keep producers and citizens in touch 
with the ramifications of legislative decisions on these 
issues. 

In order for these groups and our members to plug into 
others who are fighting for positive change in com- 
munications, they must know who they are and what 
they do. The following list is a partial one, which we 
hope to update occasionally with the many that aren't 
on the list. 

ACTION FOR CHILDREN'S TELEVISION; 

ACT supports quality television programming for 
children, and opposes exploitative programs and com- 
mercials. Its activities include consultations with net- 
work and station management, research studies, and 
legal action at the FCC and FTC. It aids communities in 
organizing local groups and monitoring programs. 
CONTACT: Peggy Charen — 46 Austin St., Newtonville, 
MA 02160 (617) 527-7870. 

BLACK CITIZENS FOR A FAIR MEDIA: 

BCFM is concerned with the image of Blacks portrayed 
by television and the effects of that image on both 
Black and non-Black viewers. BCFM acts as a liaison 
between the Black community and local stations 
through public education and discussion of issues. 
Network employment, programming, and corporate 
responsibility are BCFM's major concerns. 
CONTACT: Emma Bowen — 156-20 Riverside Drive, NY, 
NY 10032 (212) 568-3168. 



CITIZENS COMMUNICATION CENTER: 

Citizens is a non-profit public interest law firm 
specializing in communications issues. It assists 
groups in litigation and negotiations with broadcasters 
and cable operators. 

CONTACT: Nolan Bowie — 1914 Sunderland Place, 
NW, Washington, D.C. 20036 (202) 296-4238. 



COMMITTEE TO SAVE KQED: 

The Committee to Save KQED is an association 
representing about 16,000 Bay Area members. Public 
awareness campaigns, the organization of alliances 
such as the National Task Force on Public Broad- 
casting, and legal actions are being undertaken to en- 
force positive change. 

CONTACT: Larry Hall — 7695 Crest Ave., Oakland, CA 
94605 (415) 635-6398. 



CONSUMER FEDERATION OF AMERICA 

CFA is a coalition of over 200 state and local consumer 
organizations, cooperatives and trade unions. The com- 
munication Committee regularly adopts comprehensive 
statements on broadcast issues, which are available 
free. 

CONTACT: Warren Braren, (914) 664-6400 
FOR CONSUMER UNION: Sharon Nelson (202) 785-1906 



MEDIA ACCESS PROJECT: 

MAP is a non-profit public interest law firm specializing 
in public access, Fairness Doctrine and other First 
Amendment issues in communications. MAP repre- 
sents diverse local and national organizations and in- 
dividuals before the courts, the FCC, and the FTC. 
CONTACT: Andrew Swartzman — 1609 Connecticut 
Ave., NW, Washington, D.C. (202) 785-2613 



NATIONAL BLACK MEDIA COALITION: 

This coalition of 70 Black media reform groups nation- 
wide works for minority access to programming and 
employment. It meets with network representatives and 
adds its voice to FCC rulemaking procedures and Con- 
gressional hearings. 

CONTACT: Pluria Marshall — 2027 Mass. Ave., NW, 
Washington, D.C. 20036 (202) 797-7474 2 1 



A DVOC ACY D I R ECTO R V ■"'"■'"■•■■•"■"'■"■"■"■'"■"■ii™ 



NATIONAL CITIZENS COMMITTEE FOR BROAD- 
CASTING: 

NCCB has been a leader in the media reform movement 
since 1967. It serves as a national coordinating and sup- 
port institution for local media groups. Its services in- 
clude such things as information gathering, a research 
clearinghouse, and publicity. NCCB has published a 
number of booklets including Demystifying Broad- 
casting: Citizen Rights in Radio and Television. Their 
newsletter Access, published every two weeks, keeps 
all advocacy groups updated on pertinent rulemaking 
and other related events. 

CONTACT: Sam Simon — 1530 P. Street, NW, Washing- 
ton, D.C. 20005 (202) 462-2520 



UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST: OFFICE OF TELECOM- 
MUNICATIONS: 

The Office of Communications helps racial minorities 
and women achieve recognition in broadcast program- 
ming and employment. UCC provides Field Staff assis- 
tance in negotiating grievances with local broadcast 
stations and preparing petitions on communications 
issues before the FCC. Regional workshops are con- 
ducted periodically to instruct community leaders. 
CONTACT: Jan Engsberg — Office of Telecommunica- 
tions, 105 Madison Ave., Suite 921, New York, NY 
10016. (212)683-5656. 

Special thanks for the NCCB's Citizens' Media Direc- 
tory for reference material. 



NATIONAL FEDERATION OF LOCAL CABLE PRO- 
GRAMMERS: 

A national membership organization dedicated to 
preserve citizens' access to participation in media, 
NFLCP is comprised of producers of local cable 
origination channels. They publish a newsletter and are 
involved in rulemaking at the FCC and Congress in 
order to require local origination programming that 
meets the needs of communities. 
CONTACT: Paige Amidon — 147 West 87 Street, New 
York, NY (212) 989-7230. 



NATIONAL ORGANIZATION OF WOMEN: 

NOW's Media Reform Committee has monitored televi- 
sion's portrayal of women, met with network and public 
television representatives and otherwise pushed for 
change regarding this and other media issues. 

CONTACT: Barbara Rochford — 47 E. 19th St., New 
York, NY (212) 989-7239 



NEW YORK MEDIA ALLIANCE: 

The Alliance is a newly formed coalition group of New 
York Media Centers dedicated to the expansion of 
awareness in electronic arts and media issues concern- 
ing independent producers. AIVF is a member. 
CONTACT: Davidson Gigliotti (212) 966-0812. 



PUERTO RICAN INSTITUTE FOR MEDIA ADVOCACY: 

Prima serves the Puerto Rican and Hispanic community 
as an educational source, and through advocacy, 
greater information access, greater employment 
representation, and eliminating negative stereotyping 
of Hispanics in media. 

CONTACT: Luis Cafiero, President — 1230 Fifth Ave., 
Rm. 462, New York, NY 10029 (212) 691-8181 
22 



LEWIS FREEDMAN TO HEAD 
PROGRAM FUND 

In August the Corporation's Board of Directors ap- 
proved a plan to restructure CPB into two separate 
elements, a Management Services Division and a Pro- 
gram Fund. The fund will deal solely with the selection 
and funding of public television programming and will 
rely on the CPB Board for policy guidance. 

Television producer and programming executive, Lewis 
Freedman has been chosen by the CPB Board to direct 
their Program Fund. 

During the past five years, Freedman has travelled ex- 
tensively in Europe and North Africa, observing televi- 
sion programming and production and studying history. 
During part of this period he served as an international 
consultant on television programming to the Mobil Cor- 
poration. 

Prior to his five years of international travel Freedman 
served as Executive Producer of Drama for CBS-TV, 
beginning in 1972, where he created and produced the 
Bicentennial Minutes along with the four-part Benjamin 
Franklin series. 

He began his career in public television in 1965 when 
he joined WNET-TV in New York City as Vice President 
of Programming where he developed programs such as 
the New York Television Theatre series, Poverty, Anti- 
Poverty and the Poor and Sing-Along with the Bach 
B-Minor Mass. In 1967 he became Director of Cultural 
Programs for the Public Broadcasting Laboratory where 
he produced Grotowski's Acropolis, the Negro Ensem- 
ble's Day of Absence and a documentary on Ingmar 
Bergman. 

From 1969-72 he was both an executive producer and 
producer at public television station KCET, Los 
Angeles, where he created the Emmy Award-winning 
Hollywood Television Theatre series, which included 
Samuel Beckett's "Beginning to End" and "The Ander- 
sonville Trial", both of which also won Emmy's. 



mmm& /m/mmm 



by ALAN JACOBS 



AIVF goes to Washington 



AIVF went to Washington D.C. in early December to 
present the CPB Board of Directors with organized 
testimony on behalf of independent producers. The 
scheduled speakers were Alan Jacobs, Executive Direc- 
tor of AIVF, Fern McBride, independent producer of 
public affairs programs and documentary films, Victor 
Nunez, dramatic feature filmmaker, and Bob Van 
Lierop, lawyer and independent producer of interna- 
tional documentary films. Victor Nunez, held over in 
California at the last minute, was replaced by Steve 
Wax, also a dramatic feature filmmaker. Wax and Van 
Lierop spoke as independent producers and as a repre- 
sentatives of the U.S. Conference for an Alternative 
Cinema. 

AIVF structured its testimony around one unifying 
theme: the uniqueness of small independent produc- 
tion, what is special about it and the quintessential 
ways in which it differs from commissioned production 
and station production. We argued that co-productions 
with stations are not independent by our definition, that 
the context in which a film or videotape is produced in- 
fluences the nature of that production, and that in- 
dependent production is by definition free of that in- 
fluence. Therefore, to preserve the integrity of indepen- 
dent production, CPB funds must be disbursed directly 
to independents. 

Our obsession with basic definitions was in part a 
response to the CPB revised draft proposal for indepen- 
dent producers which surfaced (to our surprise) at the 
Board meeting. It was being presented by the staff for 
Board approval. This draft has theoretically been re- 
vised through consultation with independent pro- 
ducers. Yet we were unable to find that input reflected 
in a paper which we, at least, were seeing for the first 
time. As presented in the draft, the definition of in- 
dependent producers is so broad as to jeopardize the 
gains and promise of Congress' three-year funding bill. 
This paper, like several others on independents and the 
Program Fund, bears the unmistakable signature of 
CPB. Its intentional vagueness and generality pre- 
cludes the possibility for real dialogue — if you don't 
know what they're talking about, you can hardly re- 
spond to it — and heightens the paranoia of the in- 
dependent producer community. In line with its Con- 
gressional mandate, CPB seems to be committed to en- 
couraging independent production on public television. 
Why then are they hiding their intentions behind such 
vague policy resolutions? 

When they do get specific (i.e. the 35% set-aside for in- 
dependent production), they are a long way from the 



belief of independent producers across the country that 
"substantial amount" means at least 50%. Quoting 
several statements (Congressional Record) from 
Representatives Waxman and Van Deerlin, our presen- 
tation sought to substantiate our claim to 50%, and to 
uncover what we understand to be the intent of the law. 

But even more important than the percentages are the 
standards and procedures by which CPB will eventually 
distribute its programming funds. We expressed to the 
Board our fears that if they didn't take on themselves 
the job of structuring the Program Fund, CPB may lose 
a rare opportunity to enrich the programming of public 
television; and that although it was not inconceivable 
that they could technically meet their mandate by fund- 
ing a variety of compromised independent production 
(i.e. co-productions, commissioned productions, etc.), 
in so doing they would be passing up an opportunity to 
provide the kind of creative and innovative program- 
ming that is so rare on public television that the 
Carnegie Commission II was prepared to dissolve the 
entire public television system in order to attain it. The 
combined independent producer presentation described 
independent producers as "historically absent from 
public television", argued for the rights of the PTV 
audience which has been denied access to our work, 
and highlighted the diversity of our production, which 
touches many different communities across the coun- 
try. Often these communities represent audiences 
which public television has traditionally not served. 
This could change, we argued, with the inclusion of 
more genuinely independent production. Broadening 
the narrow audiences stations now serve is also one of 
CPB's Congressional mandates. 

What will happen finally, what kind of independent pro- 
duction will emerge, whether CPB will exhibit under- 
standing and commitment to the kind of independent 
production we described and, equally as important, the 
nature of the standard, structure and procedures they 
design for the Program Fund — these will constitute 
the mechanics of selection and distribution. If they are 
flabby, CPB could continue each year to fund a few, 
large independent series, meet the minimum interpreta- 
tion of their mandate, and turn away from an exciting 
opportunity to blow real life into public television. 

Much of the responsibility for determining the future 
direction of CPB with regard to independents will rest 
with Louis Freedman and the Program Fund. Mr. Freed- 
man was at the CPB Board meeting and heard our pre- 
sentation, but there was not much time to get beyond 
introductions. We hope to have some lengthy ex- 
changes in the coming weeks with the new Program 
Fund Director. 23 



review 




IMPOSTORS 

a film by Mark Rappaport 




Mark Rappaport's latest feature, IMPOSTORS, defies 
definition. It's not so much that IMPOSTORS is a film of 
difficult subjects, but more that it is simply a defiant 
film. Throughout, the characters are constantly on the 
attack, all attempting to manipulate each other and 
together to assault the audience. 

IMPOSTORS is a film of calculated contradictions. It is 
at once lush and sparse, outrageously slapstick and 
deadly serious at the same time. The plot is complex 
and comically convoluted. 

Two plots of typically Hollywood genres run 
simultaneously, then overlap and intertwine in a film 
the overall nature of which is to deny the efficacy of 
those themes and standard narrative techniques- 
First, there develops the story of Chuckie and Mikey, 
two psychopathic killers posing as twin magicians on a 
wild search for a mythical Egyptian treasure. The 
search combines caricatured elements of The Maltese 
Falcon, The Mummy (which we see at one point on the 
television) and various antics of the Marx Brothers. 

The film opens with Chuckie and Mikey in a hotel room. 
While Chuckie reads a comic book, Mikey obsessively 
views slides of Egyptian treasures. Thus begins the 
strange relationship between these two arch -villains 
which is played like the most insidious of marriages, 
like Abbott and Costello as George and Martha in 
Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf. 

24 



In a part brilliantly written to showcase his talents, 
Charles Ludlam makes a rare screen appearance. As 
Chuckie, the most dangerous and devilish of the two 
killers, Ludlam rants and mugs in a style he has 
developed over his many years as Off Broadway's 
Clown Prince, the master of stage comedy. That which 
has always come from Ludlam's electric presence on 
stage, translates perfectly to his film role. His comedic 
melodrama permeates the entire film. 

Chuckie amd Mikey perform their magic act in a turn-of- 
the-century styled theater with the assistance of the 
beautiful Tina, played by Ellen McElduff. From the box 
seat, Peter, played by Peter Evons, watches intently. 
After the performance Peter waits for Tina by the stage 
door. Tina runs out of the theater pursued by a strange 
man and emb/aces Peter to avoid the man's approach. 
After the mysterious man has passed Tina looks up at 
Peter and says, "I hope you don't think this means 
anything." Thus begins the second storyline of 
IMPOSTORS, the love story of Tina and Peter. 

Almost immediately Tina moves in with Peter. Peter has 
an obsession with photographing himself and his girl- 
friends, always in the same pose, each in profile, about 
to kiss. These photographs describe Peter's imagined 
perfect relationship. It is the idea of relationship that 
Peter adores. Tina seems the most straightforward of 
all the characters, motivated by a simple will to survive. 

As their relationship continues, Peter is plagued by 
constant jealousy. Tina is approached by numerous 
women who seem to know her all too well for Peter's 
liking. He is certain that they are her lovers. These en- 
counters are written so the supposed suitors say 
something very suggestive then cover and contradict 
that sentiment in the next breath. We are never quite 
sure whether Peter has reason to be jealous or not. In 
the film there is no attempt to separate fact from fan- 
tasy. All statements seem to hold the same weight. 
Finally, all is further complicated by Tina's secret affair 
with Mikey, Kept secret from Peter because of his 
jealousy and from Chuckie because Chuckie has the 
nasty habit of killing Mikey's girlfriends. 

To describe the plot further would be pointless and like- 
ly impossible. Suffice it to say that the two main 
themes intertwine and mix but never seem to connect. 
It just so happens that Peter's family is fabulously 
wealthy and Peter has an Egyptian necklace which he 
often wears around his apartment. Chuckie and Mikey 
never find this out. 



IMPOSTORS continued 

What all this means cannot be simply said, but two 
statements in the film stand out clearly. First in a scene 
with Tina and Peter in bed, Peter tells Tina about his 
family. Their home, he says, is like a "warehouse of 
dead cultures." IMPOSTORS is like a warehouse of 
dead cultures, for it contains a startling array of nar- 
rative cliches from Hollywood genres and the film 
would seem to be defining these holdovers from a dead 
culture as a continuing curse. Secondly, in a scene with 
Tina and Mikey as secret lovers, Mikey tries to convince 
Tina to leave "all this" so they can live a normal love, 
which he describes in most sarcastic terms. It is an off- 
hand description of the worst qualities of a relationship 
but I think that it is in fact the closest thing to a direct 
statement about relationships that IMPOSTORS makes. 
In a film of multitudinous contradictory statements 
Mikey's apparent cynicism may be the most telling and 
honest attitude of all. It is a way of saying that what we 
have come to think of as trite and cliche-ridden may be 
closer to the reality of our human condition than all the 
invented scenarios we have come to accept. 



a film by Karen Arthur, 
Independent Focus, WNET 



LEGACY is a master work of contemporary cinema. 
Essentially a feature-length monologue conceived, writ- 
ten and acted by Joan Hotchkiss, LEGACY could cer- 
tainly be considered of great merit on her work alone. 
But LEGACY is more than one woman's genius. It is a 
collaboration of great talents. Karen Arthur brings all to 
filmic fruition in a work more powerful than its separate 
parts. 



LEGACY is the story of a women's growing madness as 
a prisoner of her seemingly perfect suburban environ- 
ment. Throughout her descent she continues to re- 
assure herself that everything is all right by clutching to 
the routines of her daily life: the very substance of her 
ever-increasing anguish, because it is the perfect order 
of her life that has made her so isolated and alone. 

The film begins with an abstracted image of a swimmer. 
We cannot make out who or what it is. Then we see 



emerging from a swimming pool an old woman met and 
helped from the water by our protagonist. It is her ag- 
ing mother — the monologue begins. The mother, now 
in a wheel chair,looks straight ahead and says nothing 
as her daughter in nervous tones describes the fabric of 
her distressing life. She is isolated even from her 
mother. 



Later at home the final descent begins. She is prepar- 
ing for a formal dinner party. We see her obsesively 
careful selection of the proper clothes from her impec- 
cable closet. Flashbacks show us an aloof husband lit- 
tle caring or even aware of his wife's personal hell, then 
remembrances of a perfect lover she could never 
have. 



She retires to her bath,rivaled in comfort and elegance 
only by T.V. soap commercials. From the sunken tub 
she calls a friend/Only to chide the friend for leaving the 
phone briefly to talk to someone else. Then in a scene 
cut from the WNET screening she begins to mastur- 
bate, then drops the receiver, completely forgetting 
about her friend on the other end. Her pristine surface 
is beginning to break away. 



After a greal deal of difficulty dressing (decisions are 
becoming almost impossible) she makes the final 
preparation of the place settings at the dinner table, 
punctuated by wild and irrational diatribes against her 
black cook who is never to be seen behind the closed 
door to the kitchen. It is at this point that she begins to 
lose complete touch with reality. The long monologue 
is drawing to a close. As she becomes more and more 
frantic the dramatic nature of the staging becomes 
more and more apparent. The device of the monologue 
and its performance is not only to carry the narrative of 
the film but, as well, serves perfectly as a metaphor for 
her now complete isolation, for we are not at all sure 
that there is in fact a cook behind the door to which she 
addresses her flurry of racial slurs and epithets. We see 
her now for what she is, stripped bare of all social 
pretense. 



In the final sequence we see her entire living room 
covered with a white ne< ting she had been using as a 
decoration. It is the realization of the viel that has for so 
long separated her from the external world. She has left 
us once and for all. bill jones 



25 



*?&£ yolvmvt 



by RICH BERKOWITZ 



DDDDDDDnDnDnDDnDDDDDDDnDDDDDDDDDDDaDDDDDGDDDODDDDnaDDnDDDDDDDDDODDDD 



Congratulations to Jean Firstenberg who has been 
appointed to replace George Stevens, Jr. as Director of 
AFI. As former Program Officer of the Markle Founda- 
tion, Jean has demonstrated keen understanding in 
working with independents. . . 

More than five hundred New York City children will be 
featured in Robert Gardner's new feature film 
CLARENCE AND ANGEL. Shot on location in NYC, the 
film follows the struggles of a young boy when his 
Southern migrant-worker family moves to New York. 
The story unfolds when the boy is befriended by an 
Hispanic classmate who helps him adjust to life in 
urban surroundings. Gardner will distribute CLARENCE 
AND ANGEL to special educational programs, libraries 
and museums. . . 

Claudia Weill begins shooting THE PERFECT CIRCLE 
in January on location in Los Angeles. Weill's follow-up 
to GIRLFRIENDS is about a romance between a woman 
mathematician and a retired baseball player. . . 

JUMP CUT issue #21 features reports on the Alternative 
Cinema Conference from eleven of Jump Cut's staff 
writers. This seems like mandatory reading for in- 
dependents. . . 

Penny Allen has just finished shooting PAY DIRT, the 
second film in a trilogy which began with PROPERTY. 
Described by Penny as "a medieval morality tale", the 
epic feature-length film centers on several farmers who 
own a vineyard as well as a field where they grow mari- 
juana. Sounds cultivating. . . 

The National Alliance Against Racist and Political 
Repression has joined independent filmmakers David 
Koff and Musindo Mwinyipembe to seek the release of 
the uncensored version of BLACKS BRITANNICA, a 
powerful documentary on racism in Great Britain (see 
THE INDEPENDENT, April 1979). Koff is trying to add 
PBS as a defendant in his suit, claiming that they, along 
with WGBH, participated in censoring the film before 
broadcasting it over national public television on 
August 10, 1978. For more info, contact the Ad Hoc 
Coalition to Defend BLACKS BRITANNICA, Two Park 
Square, Suite 600, Boston Mass 02116 (617) 
542-0663... 

Peter Lowy of Altermedia has announced plans for a 
screening of lesbian films on Jan. 10 and 11, at 8 pm, to 
be held at St. Peter's Church, 346 West 20th St., NYC. 
Scheduled to be screened are the just-completed 
WORLD OF LIGHT: A PORTRAIT OF MAY SARTON by 
Marita Simpson and Martha Wheelcock; and IN THE 
BEST INTERESTS OF THE CHILDREN by Frances Reid, 
Liz Stevens and Cathy Zheutlin. Also, "back by 
popular demand": AFTER THE GAME and PUPPET 
CHARACTERS by Donna Gray, DYKETACTICS by Bar- 
bara Hammer and I'M NOT ONE OF 'EM by Jan Oxen- 
berg . . . 

26 




Molly Drosten-Kovel b- Dec. 5 



The CPB Board Ad Hoc Committee to draw up their 
5-year plan has created an advisory group which in- 
cludes AIVF — along with PBS, NPR, NTIA, NAEB and 
the IRC. . . 

The Museum of Modern Art is presenting an entire 
week of CINEPROBE in February. Featured filmmakers 
will include Susan Pitt, Larry Jordan, Jon Jost, Allen 
Coulter, Howard Guttenplan, Gerald Tartaglia, Dave 
Geary and Warren Sonbert. . . 

A NEW ARRIVAL: AlVF's newest member is Mariana 
Louise Drosten-Kovel or more simply, Molly, who was 
born on December 5 to Board member and former 
President Dee Dee Halleck. Ms. Kovel was not an in- 
dependent production; Dee Dee's husband, Joel col- 
laborated. When asked to divulge the subject of her 
first film, Ms. Kovel rolled her eyes and declined com- 
ment. . . 



The Column 



DDDnnDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDnanDDDDnDDDnnnnnDODDDDDaDDnDDDDDnDODanDDD 



Allen Coulter's THE HOBBS CASE was recently shown 
at the International Festival of Short Films and 
Documentaries in Lille, France, where it was selected 
as a part of a touring program representing the "Best of 
the Festival". The film was also shown at the Chicago 
International Festival in Movember, where it received 
an Award of Merit. THE HOBBS CASE will be screened 
when Coulter appears in MOMA's Cineprobe series in 
February. . . 

THAT'S LIFE: A fond but very sad farewll to AlVF's 
favorite "comrade", Maria Scarfone-Ramirez, former Ad- 
ministrative Assistant for the Short Film Showcase. 
Maria, who has kept our office lively with political 
debate over the past two years, will be missed by 
friends and capitalists alike... The staff of AIVF has 
welcomed Nancy Gerstman who is the new Ad- 
ministrative Assistant for the Short Film Showcase. 
CONDOLENCES to the friends and family of Rose 
Schaler, who passed away in December. Those of us 
who remember her energy and enthusiasm at AlVF's 
past insurance forums will mourn the loss of a very 
special friend. . . 

Congratulations to CETA Media Works' Marvin "Diallo" 
McLinn, who has just joined NABET 15 as an Assistant 
Cameraman. . . 

DDDDQDaaDannDanoaoQooQODDDDDnnDDD 



AIVF members living in the New York City area 
should be aware that there is a local telephone 
number for PBS, through which you can be hooked 
into any Washington, DC PBS office. This number 
is (212) 582-1088. 

The following are the addresses and phone 
numbers of the regional PBS networks: 

Eastern Educational Television Network 

ATT: Dick Thomas 

131 Clarendon Street 

Boston, MA 02116 

(617)247-0470 

Southern Educational Communications 

Association 

ATT: Mac Woll 

Box 5966 

Columbia, SC 29250 

(803) 799-5517 

Central Educational Network 

ATT: Tom Rogeberg 

5400 North Saint Louis Avenue 

Chicago, IL 60625 

(312) 463-3040 

Pacific Mountain Network 

ATT: Jon Cooper 

Suite 50, Diamond Hill 

2480 West 26 Avenue 

Denver, CO 80211 

(303) 455-7161 



INDEPENDENT FOCUS - THIRD SEASON 
SCHEDULE 

1. Jan. 27 WITH BABIES AND BANNERS by Lorraine Gray 

CIA CASE OFFICER by Saul landau 

2. Feb. 3 SALT OF THE EARTH by Herbert Biberman 

3. Feb. 10 THE RIVER IS WIDER THAN IT SEEMS by John 

Stern 

4. Feb. 17 IT'S GRITS by Stan Woodward 

LOISAIDA by Beni Matias & Marci Reaven 
TULE by Edin Velez 

5. Feb. 24 A GUEST STATUS by Yossi Segal 

ECHOES by Stan Salfas 

6. Mar. 2 LOVE IT LIKE A FOOL by Susan Wengraf 

VARNETTE'S WORLD by Carroll Parrott Blue 

7. Mar. 23 CONTROLLING INTEREST by Larry Adelman 

WAR SHADOWS by Jody Eisemann 
OUTTAKES by Paul Brekke 

8. Mar. 30 KILLER OF SHEEP by Charles Burnett 

9. Apr. 6 HARDWARE WARS 

THE LAST SPACE VOYAGE OF WALLACE 
RAMSEL by Ruth Rotko & John Keeler 

10. Apr. 13 THE FLASHETTES by Bonnie Friedman 

FILM FOR MY SON by Nadja Tesich-Savage 

JENNY by Virginia Hashi 

SIMPLEMENTE JENNY by Helena Solberg-Ladd 

11. Apr. 20 TRANSMAGNIFICAN DAMBAMUALITY by 

Ronald Gray 

PASSING THROUG by Larry Clark 

12. Apr. 27 THE LOVE TAPES by Wendy Clarke 



DDODDDDDDDDDGDDDDDDDDDDDDDnnDnGD 
DDDDDDDDDDDDDnDDDaDDOnDnnDDDnDnn 



NEW ASSOCIATION OF INDEPENDENT 
FEATURE PRODUCERS MEETS IN 
MINNEAPOLIS 

Twelve of the country's outstanding independent feature pro- 
ducers, Peter Adair, Maxi Cohen, Randall Conrad, Alan 
Jacobs, John Hanson, Miles Mogulescu, Victor Nunez, Jan 
Oxenberg, Annick Smith, Herb E. Smith, Sandra Schulberg 
and Steve Wax have completed three days of intensive 
meetings in Minneapolis to lay the groundwork for the forma- 
tion of a national non-profit membership association and to 
define policies and programs for 1980. The filmmakers form 
part of the national interim steering committee that was 
created at the Independent Feature Conference organized by 
the Independent Feature Project in September in New York 
City. 

Program priorities for next year will focus on the areas of (1) 
DISTRIBUTION SUPPORT SERVICES, including a national film 
market to showcase new independent feature product for 
domestic and foreign buyers; an information clearing house to 
collect and disseminate market research & international film 
festival information and to liaison with foreign festival direc- 
tors and (2) PRODUCTION FINANCING, including lobbying ef- 
forts; consulting; and the publication of resource papers to 
assist producers applying for government agency grants. 



festivals 



By Monica Freeman 



FIVF was present this year at the 11th Festival de Cinema, 
October 13-20, Nyon, Switzerland. This documentary festival 
attracts filmmakers from around the world. Many of them were 
guests of the festival. Representing films at Nyon this year 
were Penny Bernstein; PAUL JACOBS AND THE NUCLEAR 
GANG by Jack Willis and Saul Landau, Arthur MacCaig's 
PATRIOT GAME, Josh Hanig's SONG OF THE CANARY and 
BETWEEN MEN by Will Roberts. There were nearly a dozen 
American entries. 



The Government of National Reconstruction gave 
INCINE the responsibility of rescuing in film our na- 
tional identity and cultural heritage, deformed and 
atrophied by forty-five years of Somozaism. To ac- 
complish this they must produce and distribute educa- 
tional films in a country which lacks a filmmaking tradi- 
tion, although its people have enjoyed watching films 
over the years. 



Each film was translated simultaneously into French and 
English and transmitted through a portable earphone system 
for the audience and international jury, consisting this year of 
representatives from France, Russia, Switzerland, Canada and 
Bulgaria. After the screening, filmmakers were invited to join 
the audience and press in a question and answer session, 
which on occasion turned into an adamant debate, as most of 
the films were very controversial. 



The categories covered ranged from environment, education, 
and religion to ethnology, artists and politics. This year's 
retrospective was on films about the Second World War. 
Little-seen documents coming from varied sources revealed 
the propaganda, history, and atrocities along with actual war 
footage. 



Although Nyon is not particularly a marketplace festival, there 
are European television producers present as well as other 
festival directors, along with an abundance of journalists, 
mostly Swiss. Moritz de Halen, the festival's director, stressed 
the importance of filmmakers having good quality publicity 
photos for publication by various newspaper and press people 
that attended festivals. Mr. de Halen selects the American 
films when he makes his annual trip to New York City in late 
June. There is no entry fee. For further information contact 
The Festival de Cinema, 1260 Nyon, Switzerland. 



SANDINISTA FILM INSTITUTE CALLS FOR 
SOLIDARITY 

Out of the far-seeing, effort of the Sandinista National 
Liberation Front to document the Nicaraguan people's 
struggle against Somoza's regime, the seed of today's 
film institute grew. A team of photographers and film- 
makers risked their lives to obtain that documentation 
on the battlefront, along with a citizenry which rose in 
arms to change their oppressive government. On July 
22nd, 1979, three days after the Sandinista victory, that 
same team took over Somoza's abandoned Managua 
film offices, PRODUCINE, by then an empty shell with 
deteriorated equipment. They were later officially 
recognized as the Nicaraguan Film Institute, INCINE. 
28 



Nicaragua is also a country which suffers from massive 
illiteracy, malnutrition, and a minimal health-care 
system. Within our human, economic, and material 
parameters we are rapidly developing a film infrastruc- 
ture. One must bear in mind that in Nicaragua film- 
making is not a luxury, but rather an imperative need, a 
fundamental tool in overcoming an imposed under- 
development. 



International Solidarity 

Due to the devastation inherited from long-term tyranny 
and a short-term war, our economy cannot cover the 
initial capital investment required to purchase the 
necessary equipment and materials in order to meet 
our production goals. Therefore, we are counting on the 
generous help of a progressive international film- 
making and film-loving community to equip INCINE. We 
need cameras, lenses, editing equipment, portable tape 
recorders, microphones, film and tape, as well as 
transfer, copying, processing and projection equip- 
ment, and funds. 



We need the help of every citizen who believes in the 
value of a free, democratic, educated and healthy 
Nicaragua. We urge you to participate in this campaign. 
Please write to: 



Nicaragua Communicates 

512 Broadway 3rd Floor 

New York, New York 10012 

Checks should be made out to THE FILM FUND - 
NICARAGUA COMMUNICATES. Your contribution wil 
be tax deductible. 



Thank you, 



RAMIRO LACAYO DESHON 
President, Board of Directors 
INCINE 



NOTICES 



PBS-Minority SPC 7 Market 
AIVF would like to know how many in- 
dependent minority producers have ap- 
plied to the current Minority SPC 7 
Market being conducted by PBS. If you 
applied, please drop us a line, telling us 
how you heard about the Market and 
whether your proposal has been includ- 
ed in the Preference Catalog. Only the 
proposals in this catalog will be con- 
sidered to enter the Program Fair. Write 
to: AIVF, 99 Prince St., N.Y. N.Y. 10012. 
Attention: Pablo Figueroa. 

The FCC recently released its first semi- 
annual regulatory agenda. The agenda 
has two parts: one listing all those pro- 
ceedings on which the FCC intends to 
act within the next six months, and the 
other listing those items which the 
Commission will address within the 
next six months to a year. 
For a copy of the agenda, write the FCC, 
Consumer Assistance Office, 1919 M 
Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20554, 
(202) 632-7000. 

A coalition of energy, media, and anti- 
nuclear power groups have recently 
formed the SAFE ENERGY COM- 
MUNICATIONS COUNCIL The coalition 
intends to promote media coverage of 
energy issues. The Council will also 
consider producing public service an- 
nouncements advocating the use of 
renewable resources. For more informa- 
tion, contact Rich Pollack, Director, 
CRITICAL MASS ENERGY PROJECT, 
133 C Street, SE, Washington, D.C. 
20003, (202) 546-4790. 

Award-winning television producer 
Lewis Freedman was named to head the 
Corporation for Public Broadcasting's 
new Program Fund. In announcing his 
selection, CPB President Robben Flem- 
ing said Freedman, "will bring to public 
television one of the nation's most 
creative minds in this medium." The an- 
nouncement was made at the December 
Board meeting of CPB. 
The next meeting of the Board will be 
held in Washington, January 16-17, 1980. 

HAS YOUR ORGANIZATION EVER 
EMPLOYED MEDIA ARTISTS UNDER 
CETA? If so, please contact Fran Piatt at 
FIVF, 99 Prince Street, New York, NY 
10012, as soon as possible. I am re- 
searching an article for a future issue of 
THE INDEPENDENT to provide guid- 
ance for independent media organiza- 
tions who wish to set up CETA pro- 
grams, and would like to include the ex- 
periences of groups other than FIVF. 
Thank you. 



AIVF holds regular Board meetings on 
the first Monday of each month. These 
meetings are open to the public. Those 
interested in attending should call the 
AIVF office for confirmation. 

PUBLICATIONS 

THE WAFL BOOK is a directory of the 
people, places, skills and services in 
Washington's film and video production 
community. The 3rd Edition will be 
published on March 15, 1980, and may 
be ordered at the reduced pre-pub- 
lication price of $4.95 ($6.95 after 
January 15) plus 75c postage from 
Washington Area Film/Video League 
Inc., 2712 Ontario Road NW, Wash- 
ington DC 20009. 

AMERICAN LABOR FILMS, published 
by the Film Library Information Council, 
is a directory and critical guide covering 
250 films in English and Spanish dealing 
with labor issues. It features a proposal 
by the AFL-CIO and the UAW to form a 
consortium to support production of 
new films, and articles on the use of film 
in labor education and as an organizing 
tool. It can be ordered for $7.00 from 
American Labor Films, PO Box 348, 
Radio City Station, New York, NY 10019. 

CAREERS IN FILM & TELEVISION, AFI 
Factfile #2, is available for $3.00 from 
NES Publications, American Film In- 
stitute, Kennedy Center, Washington 
DC 20566. 

SCRIPTWRITER NEWS is a periodical 
providing business tips to screen and 
television writers. Write for a free sam- 
ple to PO Box 956, New York NY 10023. 

THE FILM AND VIDEO MAKERS DIREC- 
TORY is available for $5.00 per copy. 
Another $1.00 obtains a year's subscrip- 
tion to the FILM AND VIDEO MAKERS 
TRAVEL SHEET. The expanded, updated 
DIRECTORY includes a complete index 
to thousands of film and video makers, 
as well as institutions, organizations, 
museums, universities, media centers 
and distributors involved with indepen- 
dent film and video in this country and 
abroad. Make check payable to Carnegie 
Institute and send to Film Section, 
Carnegie Institute, Museum of Art, 4400 
Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh PA 15213. 

THE SOUTH IN FILM will be highlighted 
in a special issue of THE SOUTHERN 
QUARTERLY to be published next 
winter. Essays on significant themes in 
Southern films, genre pictures with 
Southern settings, the relationship be- 
tween Southern literature and the 



cinema, and efforts to make films in the 
South are now being accepted for sub- 
mission. March 1, 1980 is the deadline 
for receiving articles or proposals. Con- 
tact Warren French, Guest Editor, Box 
266, Cornish Flat, NC 29746. 

REEL CHANGE: A GUIDE TO SOCIAL 
ISSUE FILMS, edited by Patricia Peyton, 
is a critical listing in catalog format of 
over 500 dramatic features, documen- 
taries, shorts, animation, videotape and 
slide presentations dealing with social 
change that are available in U.S. distri- 
bution. All titles are subject-indexed and 
cross-referenced. The guide is available 
for $6.95 plus $1.25 shipping from The 
Film Fund, PO Box 909, San Francisco 
CA 94101, (415) 981-3581. 

FILMS WANTED 

IF YOU HAVE video or film material 
relating to New York Metro area public 
affairs or cultural activities, and would 
like it to be considered for local airing, 
please contact TAD TURNER at WNYC- 
TVat (212)566-3101. 

EDUCATIONAL DEVELOPMENT 
CENTER is interested in negotiating 
distribution rights for independently 
produced educational films and video- 
tapes. Our primary areas of interest are 
special education, health, women's and 
social issues and ethnography. Please 
contact Marcia Culhane, EDC, 39 Chapel 
St., Newton, MA 02160. (617) 969-7100 
ext. 349. 

CENTER SCREEN and WGBH Educa- 
tional Foundation have initiated "Brief 
Encounters", a project to program short 
independent films and videotapes as in- 
termission spots on public television. 
Requirements: Length — 30 seconds to 
7 minutes; Format — 16mm, % inch, 1 
inch, 2 inch only. Rates for local broad- 
cast range from $85 to $100 (depending 
on length). Deadline is Jan. 31, 1980. 
Contact: Brief Encounters Project, 
CENTER SCREEN, 18 Vassar St., 
20B-126, Cambridge, MA 02139, or call 
Barry Levine at (617) 494-0201. 

GAY FILMS WANTED: Films about les- 
bians and gay men wanted for possible 
inclusion in the 1980 New York Gay Film 
Festival. Please send promos (not films) 
to: Altermedia, LTD, P.O. Box 948, Bowl- 
ing Green Station, NY, NY 10004. 
FILMS/TAPES on or about different 
regions of New York State are being 
sought for acquisition or rental by Joan 
Lapp of the Dept. of Commerce (99 
Washington Avenue, Albany, New York 
12245) Tel: (518) 473-1992. Please con- 

29 



NOTICES 



tact her or Lillian Jimenez (212) 966-0641 
from FIVF. 



FESTIVALS 

1980 ATHENS INTERNATIONAL FILM 
FESTIVAL: Filmmakers, producers and 
distributors are invited to submit their 
films by March 31 for the Athens 
Festival to be held April 25-May 4. Com- 
petition is open to all 35mm, 16mm, and 
Super-8 films in the categories of 
feature films, short story, animation, ex- 
perimental and documentary. Contact: 
Athens Intl. Film Festival, Box 388, 
Athens, Ohio 45701. (614) 594-6888. 

FOURTH ANNUAL ATLANTA INDEPEN- 
DENT FILM AND VIDEO FESTIVAL is 
now accepting entries for this year's 
Festival in the following formats: 16mm, 
Super-8, and % inch cassette. Winners 
will be screened at the IMAGE Film/ 
Video Center and the High Museum of 
Art from March 25-30. Deadline for 
receipt of all entries is Feb. 22. Contact: 
Independent Media Artists of Georgia 
(IMAGE), 972 Peachtree Street, Suite 
213, Atlanta, GA 30309. (404) 874-4756. 

ELEVENTH ANNUAL BALTIMORE IN- 
TERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL IN- 
DEPENDENT FILMMAKERS COMPETI- 
TION is open to 16mm films (only) made 
during the past two years. Entry forms 
are due by March 1; films by March 15. 
Entry forms and further information are 
available from: BIFF-11, Room 401 C, 
Baltimore MD 21201. (301) 685-4170. 

CINE (Council on International Non- 
theatrical Events) reminds U.S. film- 
makers that Feb. 1, 1980 is the deadline 
for submitting entry forms for CINE's 
next annual competition. Application 
forms are available from: CINE, 1201 
16th St., NW, Washington, DC 20036. 
(202) 785-1136. 

TENTH ANNUAL ANN ARBOR 8mm 
Film Festival is now accepting entries 
until Feb. 1, for this year's competition 
to be held Feb. 15-17. Contact: Ann 
Arbor Film Festival, PO Box 7592, Ann 
Arbor, Ml 48107. 

MODERN LANGUAGE FILM FESTIVAL, 
a competition of short films on non- 
English speaking cultures, is inviting 
films that communicate some aspect of 
human society associated with non- 
English speaking cultures — American 
ethnic and other countries. Sound may 
be in any language or non-verbal. Entry 
deadline: January 31, 1980. Entry fee: 
$15.00. Maximum length: 60 minutes; 
16mm optical sound only. Contact: 
Modern Language Film Festival, Box 
623 C, Middlebury, VT 05753. 
30 



BUY/RENT/SELL 

FOR SALE: Arri 16GS with 2 mags, 1 
variable motor, 1 constant motor, 1 
torque motor, 1 mini Duropack on-board 
battery, 1 Duropack charger, 1 Duropack 
shoulder battery, 1 Cine 60 belt battery, 
1 12.5mm T2 Cooke Kinetal lens with 85, 
85N3m 85N6 filters, 2 battery cables, 1 
hammered aluminum case. Mint condi- 
tion. $6,500.00 complete. Also: NPR 
cradle $125.00. NPR (CA-1) to C-Mount 
adapter $125.00. CP 16 click-stop short 
finder, new $250.00. CP follow-focus 
gear for 10-150mm, new $60.00. Arri 
Angenieux 12-120 zoom motor (works 
from 8 or 12-volt battery), mint condition 
$250.00. Call Don (212) 840-7833. 

OPPORTUNITIES/GIGS 
APPRENTICESHIPS 

COMPOSER of minimalist and ex- 
perimental music wishes to work with 
film and videomakers on creative proj- 
ects. Have completed works and master 
tapes on file. For resume, tape and infor- 
mation, contact Mark Pierson, (617) 
755-3499. 

POSITION AVAILABLE/AUDIO-VISUAL 
EQUIPMENT MANAGER: Salary $11,582; 
ten months per year; 35 hours per week. 
Contact: Lillian Silver, Personnel, (201) 
932-3020. 

VOLUNTEERS WANTED: For feature 
production of "A Man To Love". We are 
looking for people interested in working 
with us for a late Jan. shoot. Please call 
Lynn Rogoff and leave your name anc 
phone number: (212) 966-7563. 

PRODUCTION STAFF NEEDED for new 
series. We are beginning a new national 
tv journalism series for teenagers and 
are looking for Production Managers, 
researchers/writers, producers and 
directors. Ability to speak Spanish a 
plus. Send resumes to: Southwest 
Center for Educational TV, 10900 
Spicewood Pkwy., Austin, Texas 78750. 

FUNDS/RESOURCES 

THE FILM FUND is now accepting ap- 
plications for its 3rd annual cycle of 
grants towards production and distribu- 
tion of films, videotapes and slide 
shows on social change topics. 
$100,000 to 150,000 will be awarded in 
1980. The deadline is January 31, 1980. 
For guidelines and application forms, 
write The Film Fund, Media Grants Pro- 
gram, 80 East 11 Street, New York NY 
10003, (212) 475-3720. 

NEH MEDIA PROJECTS deadline for 
projects beginning after July 1, 1980 is 
February 18. For more information con- 



tact National Endowment for the 
Humanities, Division of Public Pro- 
grams, 806 15 Street NW, Washington 
DC 20506, (202) 724-0398. 

SYNAPSE VIDEO CENTER is available 
to independent film/video producers to 
edit for broadcast. Studio time at 
Syracuse University's two-inch facility, 
at a rate of $20/hour, is awarded by a 
Review Panel on a competitive basis. 
Post-production access proposals are 
accepted and reviewed continuously. 
List of available equipment and guide- 
lines may be obtained by writing to 
Synapse, 103 College Place, Syracuse 
NY 13210, (315)423-3100. 

FOUNDATION GRANTS TO IN- 
DIVIDUALS, 2nd EDITION, lists ad- 
dresses, phone numbers, program 
descriptions, application, interview and 
deadline information, current financial 
data, names of trustees and staff, and 
sample grants for 950 foundations that 
give over $81 million to over 44,000 in- 
dividuals annually. The directory is 
available at $15.00 per copy from The 
Foundation Center, 888 Seventh 
Avenue, New York, NY 10019, (212) 
975-1120. 

BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATERS: 
Loan Funds for the Arts is a booklet 
describing interest-free or low-interest 
funds available to artists and art 
organizations. It can be obtained for 
$2.50 plus postage from the Center for 
Arts Information, 152 West 42 Street, 
New York, NY 10036, (212) 354-1675. 

WORKSHOPS/SEMINARS/ 
CONFERENCES 

RIVER CITY FILM CONFERENCE will be 
held at the Omaha Hilton on March 7-9. 
Will Vinton, Jeff Schrank, Lorna 
Rasmussen and Herman Engel are the 
featured speakers. Write: River City Film 
Conference, PO Box 14232, Omaha NB 
68124. 

12th MIDWEST FILM CONFERENCE will 
be held February 17 at the Chicago Mar- 
riott O'Hare. It is considered a good 
time to preview short films that later 
receive Academy Award nominations. 
Contact PO Box 1665, Evanston IL 
60204. 

AMERICAN FILM INSTITUTE NA- 
TIONAL EDUCATION SERVICES will 
sponsor a Film Education Summer In- 
stitute to teach feature filmmaking to 
traditionally-trained film academicians. 
It will be held August 3-8 at the AFI 
Center for Advanced Film Studies in 
Beverly Hills. Write Film Education Sum- 
mer Institute, National Education Ser- 
vices, Kennedy Center, Washington DC 
20566; or contact Annette Bagley at 
(202) 828-4080. 



by Laurie Young, Associate Administrator ICAP 



W©/h\P 



OPPORTUNITIES IN CABLE 



Cable television, by now a household term, presently 
reaches over 15 million subscribers nationally (21% of 
all U.S. television homes). Pay cable, such as Home Box 
Office and Showtime (among others), counts over 4.8 
million subscribers. It is projected that by the mid-80's, 
one-third of all U.S. households will be subscribing to 
cable television. 

Most independents are aware that cable offers a 
multiplicity of channels and promises alternatives to 
network fare. But specifically, what does cable now of- 
fer to independent film and videomakers in the way of 
distribution opportunities? 

Although several commercial distributors have taken 
up marketing to the cable industry, ICAP — Indepen- 
dent Cinema Artists & Producers — has been supplying 
independent work to cable since 1975. Founded by film- 
makers for filmmakers, ICAP is a non-profit organiza- 
tion that advises individual artists in the ways of cable 
and distributes their work, returning 75% of all lease 
fees to the producers. If you are considering cable 
distribution of your work, here is some information you 
might find useful. 



What the pay services are currently leasing from in- 
dependents 

Due to consistent marketing efforts by ICAP and 
others, the short subject is now an established pro- 
gramming element on the pay systems, which insert 
them in the breaktime between the major feature offer- 
ings. Most of ICAP's current business is with these pay 
channels. The pay systems are primarily interested in 
films or tapes of 1 to 30 minutes (best timing is 3-17), 
preferably color, that have high production and enter- 
tainment values. Documentaries on controversial sub- 
jects, B/W, works longer than 30 minutes, and avant- 
garde films/tapes are harder to lease to these systems, 
although ICAP continues its attempts to expand the 
market demand for such works. Independent features 
with a box-office track record also can be placed. 

Contract terms vary. Rates are based on the system's 
subscriber count and the work's running time, but 
generally this market can pay anywhere between $10 
and $100 per minute for shorts. Because of the relative- 
ly small size of the market and its slow sales pattern, 
pay cable is currently an ancillary market for the in- 
dependent. 

Basic cable 

Basic channels (that is, those channels for which the 
cable subscriber does not pay an additional fee) fall 
into several categories: (1) public access (channels 
available to producers at no charge); (2) community 
channels (used by local governments, school boards, 
etc.); (3) leased channels (available to producers for a 



fee); (4) and miscellaneous basic programs and services 
offered by the local cable operator, including a) sports 
channels (such as ESPN and Madison Square Garden 
Sports), b) children's programming (such as Calliope 
and Nickelodeon), c) religious programming, d) chan- 
nels for older people (such as Cinemerica), and e) the 
superstations (local independent television stations 
carried nationally via satellite; WTBS Channel 
17-Atlanta is the best known). 

The first three basic services mentioned above general- 
ly return no revenues to the producer. Some in fact re- 
quire payment. The last category, miscellaneous basic 
programs offered by the local cable operator, does con- 
tain some distribution possibilities for the independent 
that offer financial reward (though rates can be lower 
than those offered by the national pay systems). ICAP 
has contracts with or is negotiating with several of the 
basic programs of the paying variety and sees them as 
a viable outlet for independent work. This is particularly 
true for more lengthy or "controversial" material that 
pay systems currently shy away from, or works of in- 
terest to a highly specialized audience. 

In addition, ICAP is in the process of creating thematic 
programming packages of independent work that can 
be leased as series to basic cable operators; the first, 
entitled Womenvision, was distributed to Manhattan 
Cable. 

By the way, ICAP strongly believes that independents 
should not give their work away for free — so be wary 
of any proposal that offers exposure but neglects the 
cash. With cable's multiplicity of channels, the industry 
is hungry for programming; independents should be 
aware of the market value of their work. 



How to contact ICAP 

ICAP is interested in screening all types of film and 
video. If you are considering cable distribution by ICAP, 
send a written description of your work including title, 
credits, release date, format (16mm or prints or %" 
videocassettes only), running time, promotional 
material including reviews, and a list of all TV exposure 
your film or tape already has received. Do not send 
films or tapes until requested. For more information, 
call or write: 



ICAP 

99 Prince Street 

New York, N.Y. 10012 

(212) 226-1655 

Administrator: Susan Eenigenburg 31 



FOUNDATION FOR INDEPENDENT VIDEO AND FILM, INC 

99 Prince Street 
New York, N.Y. 10012 



the INDEPENDENT 



inside- 
festivals 
media advocacy 
resources 
opportunities 
buy/ rent /sell 
regional report 



dec'78 



We see THE INDEPENDENT as a much improved ver- 
sion of the regular AIVF Newsletter. We care about the 
way it looks, the way it reads and how it works for you as 
an information source. A regular and informative publica- 
tion is a basic component in serving a national as well as a 
regional constituency. We want to reach more people and 
in so doing we hope to be able to provide you — the mem- 
ber — with more efficient and broadly based news and 
opportunities while at the same time increasing our visi- 
bility and effectiveness as an organization. 

We welcome your response in the form of letters, re- 
views, articles or suggestions. As time and space are of 
the essence we can't guarantee publication. Please send 
your material to: THE INDEPENDENT, 99 Prince St., 
NY, NY 10012. If you'd like your material returned to 
you please enclose a self-addressed stamped envelope. 

NOTE: All submissions to newsletter due by 15 th of 
month preceeding publication, preferrably earlier. 



CORRESPONDENCE 



Dear Editor and AIVF Members: 

The International Film Festival in Greece last month 
highlighted Kubrick's achievements and Canada's con- 
tributions as well as showing AN UNMARRIED WOM- 
AN, THE TURNING POINT, COMING HOME and 
other titles. 

No credit was given to AIVF, thus this note. Two long- 
standing members' works were selected for the festival: 
SAINTS IN CHINATOWN, a short by Sol Rubin (who- 
ever he is) opened the festival; and later on, Martha 
Coolidge's NOT A PRETTY PICTURE and BIMBO 
flickered on. BIMBO received an award for Best Fiction 
Short Subject. 



Sincerely, 

Sol Rubin 

Sol Rubin Motion Pictures 

October 18/78 NYC 



LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT 

Dear Members: 

This newsletter marks the beginning of a spruce-up 
effort here. Next on the agenda is our space. Hundreds 
of people walk in each month: looking for info, picking 
up their films, buying copies of the publications, search- 
ing through the skills files, etc. It's time we made the 
place a bit more pleasant. Do you have any plants you 
want to donate? Any desks or files in good condition? 
Call to sign up for our Saturday (Dec. 16) Work Party. 
Remember what it's like to go to the John here? We can 
make it nicer without selling out to "Better Homes and 
Gardens" style. Some white paint would make a big dif- 
ference. Carpenters and plumbers who want to volunteer 
call Leslie at 966-0900. 

The forums on Nov. 29 and Dec. 13 are the result of 
many hours of work by a committee headed by Jim 
Gaffney. Are there other members out there with ideas 
for presentations? We'd like to serve your needs. What 
do you want to talk about /screen? 

The board has been busy drawing up some new by-laws 
to accommodate the structural changes that our rapid 
growth this past year mandates. We'll present them to 
the membership meeting in February for your approval. 

The coming months will be a transition time with a new 
Executive Director, and new by-laws. Although our 
funding has increased enormously, it is mostly for spe- 
cific projects. As our visibility and our membership has 
increased, so have the demands on our office staff. The 
job ahead is to become more efficient and organized, 
without turning into the kind of unresponsive bureau- 
cracy we all hate, (we're independents, right?) We want 
to build a community, not an empire. Get involved! 



Dee Dee Halleck 



THE INDEPENDENT is published 10 times yearly by 
The Foundation for Independent Video and Film, 
with support from the New York State Council on the 
Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal 
agency. 



THE INDEPENDENT December 78 



FESTIVALS UPDATE 

Marc N. Weiss, Festivals Committee 

INFORMATION ON NEW FILMS should be sent to 
the Festivals Committee c/o AIVF. It's always good to 
know what's around when a festival is getting ready to 
do a selection; and if we have your address and phone 
number we can contact you about sending your film in 
for a screening. 

WE'RE LOOKING FOR ONE OR TWO PEOPLE in 

New York to work on a volunteer basis on the Festivals 
Committee. It'll involve keeping track of films and film- 
makers, coordinating screenings, some correspondence, 
etc. NOTE: YOU MUST BE WILLING TO OCCA- 
SIONALLY GIVE THE WORK PRIORITY OVER 
YOUR OTHER ACTIVITIES. Eventually, as you dem- 
onstrate consistent responsibility, it could lead to direct 
liaison with festivals, including attending some. If you're 
interested, write (do not call) telling us something about 
yourself to Festivals Committee, AIVF, 99 Prince St., 
NYC 10012. 

THE FIRST EUROPEAN FESTIVAL DEVOTED EX- 
CLUSIVELY TO AMERICAN INDEPENDENT CINE- 
MA is being sponsored by the City of Florence and the 
Italian Film Critics Association. It's a recognition of the 
emerging independent film movement here, and will 
probably make waves. So enter! Following is the official 
information: 

FLORENCE, ITALY INVITES ENTRIES FOR FIRST ANNUAL 
FESTIVAL OF AMERICAN INDEPENDENT CINEMA 

The First Annual Review of American Independent Cinema (l a Rassegna 
del Cinema Indipendente U.SA.) will take place in Florence, Italy in 
May 1979. Official selection of films will take place in New York from 
December 15 - 30 under the auspices of the Foundation for Independent 
Video and Film (FIVF). Marc N. Weiss, Chairperson of the FIVF 
Festival Committee, and Carolyn R. Ferris, U.S. Coordinator for the 
event, will participate in the selection, assisting a delegation from 
Florence headed by Fabrizio Fiumi, Florentine filmmaker, and Giovanni 
Rossi, film critic associated with the Sindacato Critici Cinematografici, 
Commune di Firenze. The Festival is co-sponsored by the City of Flor- 
ence and the National Association of Italian Film Critics. 

Eligible: Theatrical films, short features, and fiction films; over 30 min. 
No documentary, animated, educational, or industrial films. Entries need 
not be recent. 

Purpose and Benefits: The Florence Festival will introduce American in- 
dependent films and filmmakers to the Italian public, film critics, and 
television distributors. Sponsorship by the National Assn. of Italian 
Film Critics, as well as cooperation from RAI and other television repre- 
sentatives, promises wide exposure in the Italian press, as well as poten- 
tial broadcasts on television and projected circulation of the Festival 
program in other Italian cities. 

There will be no cash prizes; but Festival participants will be awarded an 
expense-paid week in Florence, as well as discounts on Alitalia flights, so 
that they may be present during the screenings and at discussions and 
interviews during Festival week. 

Selection Submission Procedures: Filmmakers interested in submitting 
films for potential selection should follow these guidelines: 

1. Theatrical/short features eligible (see above). 

2. Films should arrive in N.Y.C. as soon as possible (avoid the holiday 
mail crush!). Send to; FIVF Festivals Committee (Florence Selec- 
tion), 99 Prince Street - 2nd Floor - New York, N.Y. 10014. (Phone: 
212-966-0900). The title should be clearly marked on the shipping 
case. 

THE INDEPENDENT December 78 



3. Include the following with each print (marked with name, address, 
film title): 

a. A check or money order for postage/handling made out the the 
FIVF Festivals Committee. 

— Films 30 to 60 minutes: $10 

— Films over 60 minutes: $13 

(Members of AIVF may deduct $3 from these amounts) 

b. A synopsis of the film and complete English transcript if avail- 
able. 

c. Major credits, completion date, running time. 

d. Any reviews or publicity materials which might explain the film 
and/or the filmmaker and place them in context, including other 
festivals where the film has been shown. (The Festival plans an 
illustrated catalog as well as press releases and other publicity 
efforts.) 

e. Address label for the film's return. Plastic shipping cases pre- 
ferred. 

4. Films will be returned in mid January. 

5. Selected films/filmmakers wil be notified in January. The shipping of 
selected films from N.Y.C. to Florence will be at the Festival's 
expense. 

Send materials immediately — they must be in by Dec. 20. 

For further information, contact Carolyn R. Ferris, 40 Atherton Road, 

Brookline, MA. 02146. 

RECENT FESTIVALS 

"The recent international documentary film festival here 
in Nyon, Switzerland has become an American colony, to 
judge by its 17 U.S. films in competition," sayeth 
Variety. I wouldn't put it quite that way myself, al- 
though it has been, in general, a very good fall for inde- 
pendent films in international festivals. Here's what's 
happened with the festivals we work with: 

THE NEW YORK FILM FESTIVAL, not noted for any 
strong representation of American independents in the 
early 70s, has recently been picking up steam. Although 
it was unfortunate there were no independent fiction fea- 
tures this year, festival audiences did get to see docu- 
mentaries and shorts: GATES OF HEAVEN by Errol 
Morris; AMERICAN BOY by Martin Scorsese; WITH 
BABIES AND BANNERS by Lorraine Gray; CIA 
CASE OFFICER by Saul Landau; THEY ARE THEIR 
OWN GIFTS by Lucille Rhodes and Margaret Murphy; 
MANIMALS by Robin Lehman; DISCIPLINE OF DE 
by Gus VanSant; BRUCE AND HIS THINGS by Mike 
Haller; GOING OUT OF BUSINESS by Christopher 
Gamboni; VALVE TRISTE by Bruce Connor; SEA 
TRAVELS by Anita Thacher; EGGS by Ruth Hayes; 
THE DOGS by Aviva Slesin and Iris Cahn; and 
DUANE MICHALS (1939-1997) by Theodore R. Haines 
and Ed. Howard. 

As the newsletter of record, let us not forget the Celebra- 
tion. . . On Saturday, September 30th, several hundred 
people crammed into a Soho gallery to honor the inde- 
pendent films in the festival. Amidst the food, drink, 
dancing and talk, Richard Roud (the Festival Director) 
and Kitty Carlisle Hart (head of NYSCA) made cameo 
appearances in speaking and non-speaking roles. Thanks 
are due to Jann Davis and her volunteer squad for 
making it happen. 

THE MANNHEIM FILM FESTIVAL had its largest 
selection of American films ever: 13 films — nearly one 
out of four films in the festival. In addition, nine film- 
makers or film representatives from the U.S. were in at- 
tendance. To mark the occasion, the festival organized a 
press conference on the American independent film 
movement, which attracted lots of attention. 



Included in the lineup were Manny Kirchheimer 
(SHORT CIRCUIT), John Hanson, Rob Nilsson and 
Sandra Schulberg (NORTHER LIGHTS), Lorraine Gray 
(WITH BABIES AND BANNERS), Frances Reid and 
Elizabeth Stevens (IN THE BEST INTERESTS OF 
THE CHILDREN), Penny Bernstein (representing Saul 
Landau's CIA CASE OFFICER), and me. 

Also shown at Mannheim were ALAMBRISTA by 
Robert Young, EXIT 10 by Steve Gyllenhaal, TAT- 
TOOED TEARS by Joan Churchill and Nick Broom- 
field, BRUCE AND HIS THINGS by Mike Haller, 
CONTROLLING INTEREST by Larry Adelman, SET- 
UP by Kathryn Bigelow, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, I'M 40 
by Alida Walsh, and last but possibly least RENALDO 
AND CLARA by Bob Dylan. 

WITH BABIES AND BANNERS won a Gold Ducat, 
which is a cash prize, and ALAMBRISTA received the 
first prize of the Evangelical (Protestant) Jury. 

Special thanks should go to Mira Liehm, the Philadel- 
phia-based writer and Mannheim staff member, for her 
support of the American films. 

THE NYON FILM FESTIVAL, as noted above, was 
pretty saturated with American independents. Films se- 
lected through the AIVF for this documentary festival 
included: THE POPOVICH BROTHERS OF SOUTH 
CHICAGO by Jill Godmilow, JOE AND MAXI by Maxi 
Cohen and Joel Gold, AIN'T NOBODY'S BUSINESS by 
Sally Barrett-Page, SOUTH BEACH by Cinda Fire- 
stone, GRANDPA by Steve Foreman, LIVING THE 
GOOD LIFE by John Hoskyns-Abrahall, CIA CASE 
OFFICER, CONTROLLING INTEREST, WITH 
BABIES AND BANNERS, and IN THE BEST 
INTERESTS OF THE CHILDREN. 

Several of us who were at Mannheim went along to 
Nyon, and Lorraine Gray was there to receive a Silver 
Sesterce for WITH BABIES AND BANNERS. CON- 
TROLLING INTEREST received an Honorable. Men- 
tion. 

Festivals in Leipzig, East Germany and Lille, France are 
coming soon. Reports on them in a future issue. 

UPCOMING FESTIVALS (Note: These festivals are not 
handled by the AIVF festivals Committee. Deal with 
them at your own risk!) 

The 12th International Animated Film Festival will be 
held in Annecy, France in June 1979. Entry deadline in 
January. Write: 21 Rue de La Tour D'Auvergne, 75009 
Paris, France. 

The 9th International Tampere Short Film Festival will 
be held in Feb. with a Dec. entry deadline. Write TFF, 
PO Box 305, SF-33101 Tampere, Finland. 

The ASIFA-East Animated Film Awards are made in 
Jan. Write ASIFE, 25 W. 43 St., NYC 10036. 

Seventh Birmingham International Educational Film 
Festival, march 7-14, Birmingham, Alabama. Deadline 
Jan. 30/79. Contact Craig Battles, Alabama Power Com- 
pany, PO Box 2641, Birmingham, Alabama 35291. 



1979 American Film Festival entry deadline Jan. 15. 
EFLA 43 W. 61 St., NYC 10023; phone (212) 246-4533. 

13th Kenyon Film Festival '79. Box 17. Gambier, Ohio 
43022. 16mm April 6-8. ($5. entry fee) Looking for recent 
independent 16mm films. 

NC Film Festival. Open to NC residents only. Deadline: 
April 13, 1979. Festival dates — May 4-5. Write NC 
Museum of Art, Raleigh, NC 27611. 

51st Annual Academy Awards — for short films. Send 
films, synopsis and 16, 35 or 70 mm prints on reels. For 
info contact Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sci- 
ences 8949 Wilshire Blvd, Beverly Hills, Ca. 90211; (213) 
278-8990. Deadline Jan. 7. 

Women/Artists/Filmmakers, Inc. is doing a survey of 
women working in film and video. Send a 5x7 index card 
to 69 Mercer St., NYC 10012, listing name, address, 
phone, followed by video/film titles and a brief descrip- 
tion of each. WAF is particularly interested in anyone 
working on historical material about women in film. 



CONCERNING CETA: 
TO BE OR NOT TO BE 

On the future of CETA support in media, the silence on all 
sides has been deafening. Including the FIVF. Why? Be- 
cause, even at this late date, with the current program 
slated to expire in January, FIVF has not been notified of 
anything. Rumors abound. As soon as we know anything 
concrete, we will disseminate the information 
immediately. 



MEDIA AWARENESS UPDATE 



The FIVF was represented on a panel of independents at 
the recent NAEB convention in Washington. Nick De 
Martino and Mirra Bank also sat on the panel. 

The passing of the Telecommunications Financing Act 
includes our proposed amendments allocating funds for 
the production and acquisition of independent work. Our 
task ahead is to suggest proposals to CPB on adminis- 
tration of this money. We are concerned that the money 
be used equitably and efficiently to produce good, di- 
verse programming. 

We're also gearing up to respond to and comment on the 
Carnegie Report which is due in January. And members 
of the committee are meeting with the Public Interest 
Satellite Association regarding a request to the FCC for 
satellite time to showcase and distribute independent 
work to outlying PBS stations and the cable networks. 

The committee welcomes suggestions, meets monthly 
and is open to new members. Call Robin Weber at the 
office (966-0900) for information. 

THE INDEPENDENT December 73 



RESOURCES 

FILM FUND GRANTS - applications accepted until 
Jan. 31. Results announced in May. Maximum $25,000 
(average grants are usually from $5,000-$15,000). Con- 
cerned with social relevance of subject or theme and po- 
tential audience/use of the film. Write FILM FUND, 80 E. 
USt, NYC 10003. 

NORTHWEST MEDIA PROJECT can provide names 
and addresses of film and video exhibitors in the region. 
Write PO Box 4093, Portland, OR 97208. 

ALABAMA FOLK ART GRANTS — $3,000. each for 
short documentaries. Send resume, availability/advance 
notice required and equipment contrib. Contact: Alabama 
Filmmakers Coop, 4333 Chickasaw Dr., Huntsville, Ala. 
35801. 

MAJOR ACCOUNTING FIRM COURTS SMALL 
BUSINESSES: The accounting firm of Peat Marwick, 
Mitchell and Co. has recently opened a division geared 
specifically to the accounting needs of small businesses. 
We are told that Peat Marwick is to accounting some- 
thing like what General Motors is to automobiles. The 
prestige of such firms is usually open only to the largest 
corporations, and to small entrepreneurs such as inde- 
pendent filmmakers, such a new trend may be significant. 

PUBLICATIONS OF INTEREST 

An excellent guide to the new U.S. COPYRIGHT LAW is 
available from N.W. Media Project. PO Box 4093, Port- 
land, OR 97208. You can also obtain copies of Public Law 
94-553 as well as a 26-page booklet "Reproduction of 
Copyrighted Works by Educators and Librarians — 
Circular R21" from Copyright Office, Library of Con- 
gress. Washington, D.C. 20559. In order to register copy- 
right for work in the performing arts you need FORM PA 
also from the Copyright Office. FIVF's files now include 
an extensive file on the New Copyright bill as it pertains 
to independents. Available for study 10 am - 5 pm, 
Monday through Friday. 

Valuable Guide to the Sponsored Film by Walter Kline 
available from Communication Arts Books, Hastings 
House Publishers, 10 E. 40 St., NYC. Hardcover price 
$12.50. 

FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO COULDN'T 
BE THERE 

On Wednesday, November 15 AIVF's headquarters were 
packed full of people who had come to hear about one of 
the most successful low budget feature's, GIRL- 
FRIENDS, which hit seventh on Variety's charts and 
still maintains a high status. Three key people from 
GIRLFRIENDS shared their experiences with us — 
JAN SAUNDERS, Co-Producer; FRED MURPHY, Di- 
rector of Photography; and PATRIZIA von BRANDEN- 
STEIN, Art Director. For those of you unable to attend 
this event here are a few of the highlights and a few use- 
ful suggestions. . . "One of the disasters of low budget 
pictures is that there's no money for pre-production and 
yet low budget pictures need it the most." (Fred 
Murphy) Fortunately, Fred was able to take the time 

THE INDEPENDENT December '78 



(albeit unpaid) to work out every shot, every scene with 
Claudia Weill (Producer and Director) for a month before 
the actual shoot. He recommends if at all possible that 
there be an equal amount of time for pre-production as 
there is for the actual shoot. Jan Saunders, Co-Producer, 
described the odyssey, the miracle of GIRLFRIENDS 
over the three years since its inception. When asked 
what her trade secrets were for getting freebies and 
other essential gifts she could only say "I believed in the 
film" and "I have a school teacher's face that people 
trust." Anybody that knows Jan or her work knows that 
she has brains and talent as well as a trustworthy 
face. . . She did point out that insurance is not a place 
to scrimp. When they experienced a fire on location they 
realized just how essential their insurance was. Both Jan 
and Fred stressed how important it was for Patrizia (Art 
Director) to be involved and how much an art director 
can provide the 'world in which the actors live'. (This is 
especially new to documentary filmmakers who expect 
the set to be there.) In Patrizia's words: "Many 
filmmakers are afraid of art directors because they spend 
money but with just a little amount — I call it magic 
money — you can do alot." "Nobody else can really take 
the time to worry about the flowers — that's what I 
do. . ." (among other things). Patrizia pointed out that 
Art Directors work very closely with the Director and 
the Director of Photography and that it's part of the Art 
Director's job to know about film stock, the effects of 
light and color and all the inter-relationships between 
technology and aesthetics. All three speakers stressed 
their belief in the project despite the long hours-low-pay- 
syndrome. "The experience of a film like this stays with 
you, nourishes you through a lot of grim times." 
(Patrizia) 

APPEAL 

This year the struggle of the people in southern Africa is 
concentrated in Zimbabwe. The illegal Smith regime is 
trying to save the white settlers' rule by means of terror- 
ist raids on the bases and refugee camps of the freedom 
fighters in Mozambique and Zambia. The Organization of 
African Unity, the United Nations and democratic- 
minded people throughout the world have condemned 
these attacks and have declared their support for the 
Patriotic Front for the Liberation of Zimbabwe. 

To improve and complete their educational work in their 
widely scattered training and refugee camps in Mozam- 
bique, the Patriotic Front wants to use a mobile cinema. 
Progressive documentary and feature films, as well as 
educational films, will be used to help inform, train, and 
mobilize the refugees and freedom fighters. 

The "Campaign for a Cinemobile for Zimbabwe" hopes to 
raise $30,000 to buy a Cinemobile based on a Land Rover, 
including spare parts and a small 16mm film library. This 
is an appeal for financial support of the project. 

The statement is signed by prominent European film 
people, including Peter Kiieg and Joris Ivens; as well as 
a number of AIVF Board Members. 



Send checks to (& further info obtained through) 
CINEMOBILE FUND c/o CINEASTE 
333 6 Ave., N.Y.C. 10014 



OPPORTUNITIES 

ENGINEER WANTED for non- 
profit production/access center. IV2 
years in maintenance and repair of 
small format b/w and color video, 
capability to modify and design, com- 
mitment to alternative media 
necessary. Salary: $ll,000./yr. + 
benefits. Resume deadline: 12/5/78. 
University Community Video, 506A 
Rarig Center. University of Minn., 
Minneapolis, MN 55455. EOE 

FACULTY POSITION: Opening for 
a media generalist to teach film and 
video production, and media theory 
courses. Applicants must be 
interested in teaching at a small, pub- 
lic interdisciplinary college, which 
emphasizes liberal studies, commu- 
nity service and career preparation. 
MFA or PhD. with teaching experi- 
ence desirable; considerable profes- 
sional experience required. Grand 
Valley State College is located 12 
miles west of Grand Rapids, Michi- 
gan. Send vita to Barbara Roos, Wil- 
liam James Colleges, Grand Valley 
State Colleges, Allendale, Michigan 
49401. Equal Opportunity/Affirma- 
tive Action Institution. 



WANTED: CINEMATOGRAPHER 
and Soundperson for "The House on 
the Hill" low budget horror feature. 
Send resume to Palomar Productions, 
PO Box 139, E. White Plains, NY 
10604. 

WNET is currently researching two 
thematic acquisition series. One 
focusses on the 1960s and may 
include any films which deal with spe- 
cific events (political, social, emo- 
tional . . . ), strongly identified with 
that decade or with the general mood 
and tone of that period. The second 
series concerns passage from adoles- 
cence to adulthood and the rites 
which accompany that transition. 
Contact Liz Oliver, Assistant Man- 
ager, Program Acquisitions. WNET, 
356 W. 58 St., NYC 10019 or phone 
560-2950. 

ARTISTS IN RESIDENCE 
WANTED: to apply for studio time 
to work on projects utilizing audio 
production . . . program runs Dec. 
1/78-Sept. 1/79. Visiting artist will 
have the studio at his/her disposal, in- 
cluding an engineer and production 



staff. Room & board and audio tape 
provided. Contact: Tom Lopex, AIR, 
ZBS Foundation, Rd. No. 1, Fort Ed- 
ward, NY 12828, (518) 695-6406. 

ICAP SEEKS INDEPENDENT 
FILMS FOR PAY TV: ICAP returns 
75% of payment received from cable- 
casting to producer. Send description 
/promo material to: Independent 
Cinema Artists and Producers, 99 
Prince St., NYC 10012. (212) 226-1655. 

VIET NAM VETERANS - Arta- 
sion Productions, Inc. seek Viet Nam 
veterans in all areas of film to work 
on Feature and documentaries. Help 
us tell it like it was. 42 W. 13 St., Apt. 
1C, NYC 10011 or call Frank at (212) 
242-0442. 

GOVERNMENT PRODUCTION 
ELIGIBILITY: The U.S. Govern- 
ment is exploring centralized means 
of contracting audio-visual produc- 
tion, by drawing up a so-called 
Qualified Producers' List. Recent 
AIVF phone calls to the Dept. of De- 
fense yielded no info on what criteria 
would purportedly make a producer 
qualified, but — if you wish to seek to 
qualify for said list, you should write 
immediately to: 

Dept. of Defense 

DIRECTORATE FOR 

AUDIOVISUAL ACTIVITIES 

1117 North 19 St., Room 601 

Arlington, Va. 22209 

They will send you an RFP (request 

for proposal). 

CENTER SCREEN, a showcase of 
independent film which regularly pre- 
sents programs in the Carpenter Cen- 
ter for the Visual Arts at Harvard 
University, is currently preparing its 
5th Annual Winter Animation Series. 
This series is the largest annual pre- 
sentation of independent animation 
in the U.S. If you have an indepen- 
dently-made, 16mm animated film 
which has not been shown publicly in 
the Boston-area and would like to 
submit it for consideration, please 
call or write Barry Levine, project di- 
rector, CENTER SCREEN, 18 
Vassar St., 20B-120, Cambridge, Ma. 
02139, (617) 253-7612. Please contact 
before sending print. Non-animation 
independent film is also presented in 
other programs throughout the year, 
and preview prints may also be sub- 
mitted for those programs. CENTER 
SCREEN'S programs are widely cov- 
ered by Boston-area press, and 
rentals are paid. 



DANCE TAPES NEEDED: Channel 
8, in Long Beach, Ca., is the first all 
Arts Cable Television Station in the 
country. We are interested in 
producing an hour-long weekly pro- 
gram of broadcast quality dance 
videotapes to begin after Jan. 1/79. If 
you have tapes or require further 
info, please contact Kathryn Lapiga, 
11826 Kiowa Ave. #106, Los Angeles, 
Ca. 90049 PS ... We are also looking 
for dance films or dance videotapes 
by new artists to screen their films 
for the Los Angeles Area Dance Alli- 
ance 2nd Annual Dance Film Festival 
scheduled for the end of January 
1979. 

MUSEUM SEEKS TAPES for ex- 
hibit in Jan., Feb. and artist in resi- 
dence. For info contact: Mary 
McComb, Guest Curator, Mississippi 
Art Assn., Mississippi Museum of 
Art, PO Box 1330, Jackson, Ms. 
39205.(601)354-3538. 

DISTRIBUTOR SEEKS FILMS ON 
THE FUTURE: Projections, Inc., a 
distributor of films for positive 
change, is seeking films and slide- 
shows which offer a creative vision of 
the future . . . subject matter ranges 
from resources to people, communi- 
ties and systems . . . fiction and non- 
fiction. Film and slide-show makers 
desiring to submit work should first 
write describing the project to : Bernt 
Petterssen, Projections, Inc., Brook 
Road, Warren, VT. 05674. 

ARTHUR MOKIN PRODUCTIONS 
IS SEEKING 16MM EDUCATION- 
AL SHORTS. We are producers and 
distributors of 16mm films for the 
educational and television market. 
Contact Bill Mokin at (212) 757-4868 
or write: Arthur Mokin Productions, 
Inc., 17 W. 60 St., NYC 10023. 

The New Jersey Nightly News is a 
joint presentation of WNET/13 and 
New Jersey Public Television. NJNN 
is looking for independent film and 
videomakers who have produced 
films and tapes dealing with New 
Jersey themes and topics. We are also 
interested in talking to independents 
who live in NJ. Contact Bill 
Einreinhofer at (212) 648-3630. 

MILLIONS TO BE SPENT ON 
ANTI-SMOKING: I have the 7 
minute script to motivate, will con- 
tract with filmmaker (16mm, sound 
B&W or col.) on author royalty basis. 
John Sweeney, 49 W. 32 St., NYC 
10001. 

THE INDEPENDENT December 78 



TREASURER'S REPORT IN BRIEF 

Both the Association and the Foundation have grown tremendously in the past fiscal year, and things look good for 
this coming year. We have received substantial funds from NYSCA and continued support from the NEA as well as 
some industry contributions. We are planning a membership and fundraising drive during the next year — if any 
members are interested in working on the drive please contact, Matt Clarke, Treasurer & Chairman of the Board of 
Directors, by writing 99 Prince St., NYC 10012. 
Summary of financial activity from July 1977 to June 1978* 

The Association of Independent Video and Filmmakers, 

Inc - The Foundation for Independent Video and Film Inc. 



$100,821.24 



46,794.42 



$147,616.18 



Income 


1977-78 


Expenses 


Memberships 


$11,457.60 


Personnel 


New York State 
Council on the 
Arts Grant 


30,900.00 


Operating 
Expenses 


Distribution 
Hand Book Sales 


4,041.92 


Total 
Expenses 


Workshops 


530.00 




Festivals C 'tee 


3,831.48 




Miscellaneous 






Income 


2,361.50 




Total Income 


$53,122.50 







Income 

Contributions 


1977-78 


Expenses 


$22,392.00 


$ 802.50 


Personnel 


31,667.79 


Grants NEA 

NYSCA 


20,000.00 
3,000.00 


Operating 
Expenses 


$54,059.79 


CETA Media 
Works Contract 

Short Films 
Showcase Contract 


66,209.36 
54,474.58 


Total 
Expenses 








Workshops 


2,022.75 






Total Income 


$146,509.19 





"More detailed financial report is available from the treasurer. 



REGIONAL REPORT . 

THIS MONTH FROM PITTSBURGH 

The major development/event (apart from film screenings 
and personal appearances by Alfred Guzzeti, Taka 
Iimura, Kenneth Anger, Les Blank, Carolee Schneemann 
and P. Adams Sitney) this fall has been the emergence of 
two publications: the new issue of FIELD OF VISION, 
PFMI's quarterly magazine — with interviews of Hilary 
Harris, Amy Greenfield, Carolee Schneemann, and Alex- 
ander Hammid, as well as articles and reviews of the Stan 
Brakhage 'documents', the Pittsburgh Conference of Re- 
gional Media Centers, the video sculpture "Nude De- 
scending a Staircase" by Shigeko Kubota, and reviews of 
books by Brakhage and Everson. It's available from 
PFMI at $2./copy or $7./yearly subscription. Also recent- 
ly printed is the '78 edition of the Travel Sheet FILM 
AND VIDEO MAKERS DIRECTORY, an alphabetical 
guide to tv/film artists, administrators and institutions in 
the US. Subdivided by states, this is a major information 
resource for everyone in the field of film/video. It's $3.50 
from Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh, PA 15213. 

Currently, a package of films made by artists from the 
Pittsburgh area is being assembled for a tour of Europe 
by/with Annette Chizeck, former Editor of the Film and 
Video Travel Sheet, who will be based in Copenhagen and 
visiting coops and museums throughout Europe in 1979 

R.A. Haller 
Executive Director 
Pittsburgh Film-Makers, Inc. 
PO Box 7200 
Pittsburgh, Pa. 15213 



THE INDEPENDENT December 78 



TRIMS AND GLITCHES 

EFLA announces new board members and officers includ- 
ing LEE GUTHRIE, JERRY HOSTETLER, WILLIAM 
A. MURRAY. Dr. CAROL GRONEMAN was named 
as Executive Director of the New York Council for the 
Humanities RALPH NADER was recently elected 

as Chairman of the Board of the National Citizens Com- 
mittee for Broadcasting. SAMUEL A. SIMON is the new 
Executive Director. Among Simon's first decisions was to 
continue to publish access (suspended since Dec. '77) — a 
journal covering media reform activities and slants on 
news from the FCC and Congress. For more info write 
access, NCCB, 1028 Connecticut Ave. NW, Washington, 
DC. 20036. NYU received a grant from HEW for a 
telecommunications project for the developmentally dis- 
abled (includes autism, cerebral palsy, epilepsy and 
mental retardation). The project was designed by the 
Alternate Media Center (NYU) in collaboration with The 
Institute for the Future, The Roosevelt Hospital, Pedia- 
tric Service, and the American Assn. of University Affili- 
ated Programs. For further info contact: The Alternate 
Media Center, 144 Bleecker St., NYC 10012 or call (212) 
598-3338. 

COURSES 

NYU to offer new Master's Degree Program in Interactive 
Telecommunications as of Fall '79. Designed to take into 
consideration the needs of the working professional. For 
further info write: Dr. M.C.J. Elton, Director, Interactive 
Telecommunications Program, NYU School of the Arts, 
NYC 10012. 



INDEPENDENT FILMMAKER LOSES COPYRIGHT 
IN U.S. DISTRICT COURT. DECISION IS ON AP- 
PEAL. The case of Kathleen Dowdey of Cecropia Films 
vs. Phoenix Films could have serious implications for all 
independent filmmakers. We're currently researching this 
and hope to publish our findings in the next issue. 

7 



COMING EVENTS 

Wed. Dec. 13 FORUM: CORPORATE CONTROL OF MEDIA AND CULTURAL INSTITUTIONS 

7:00 pm Slide show: GUESS WHO'S COMING TO BREAKFAST? A close look at Gulf and Western 

Schimmel Aud. (Paramount) 

Tisch Hall Panel: A tenacious trio of media analysis and advocacy: 

N.Y.U. • Stewart Ewen, author — Captains of Consciousness 

• Herbert Schiller, author — Mass Communications & The American Empire, The Mind Managers 

• Sol Yurick, fantasy author and member of the Public Interest Satellite Assn. 



Sat. Dec. 16 
10:30 - 3:00 
AIVF/FIVF 
99 Prince St. 



LOFT SPRUCE-UP. Refreshments provided. (See letter from the President). 
RSVP to Leslie at 966-0900. 



Tisch Hall is at N.Y.U. , 40 W. 4th St., just southeast of Washington Square Park. These events are arranged through the courtesy of 
NYU's Cinema Studies Dept., in cooperation with its screening and seminar programs. 



BUY/RENT/SELL 

For Sale: Black Nikon FTN with 35mm 
fl.4 Nikkor lens, case, filters, etc. Perfect 
condition. $450. Richard Brick, (212) 925- 
8877. 

For Sale: Scully Tape Deck, Model 
280/SP. Excellent Condition, 14" reel to 
reel NAB/HUBS, mono, speeds IVt and 
3 3 / 4 IPS. Price negotiable. Call (516) 883- 
4400, extension 57. 

For Sale: 16mm Bell & Howell Filmo (non- 
reflex) with leather carrying case, range 
finder and 17mm and 25mm lenses. Bob 
Withers at (212) 873-1353, 690-8168. 



For Sale: Portable Color Video Camera. 
JBC GC-4800U 2 vidicon unit with CCU 
and standard accessories, in good condi- 
tion, includes metal shipping case. Fresh 
alignment just completed. $1500. NOTE: 
Some additional accessories also 
available. Call Doug Sheer at (212) 732- 
4216. 

For Sale: Bolex Reflex. $500. Write PO 
Box 40, NYC 10038. 

For Sale: Bolex H-16 and Beaulieu R-16 
with lenses. Call (212) 486-9020. 

For Rent: 6 plate Moviola Flatbed. 10 am - 
6 pm. M - F. Beautiful workspace, cheap- 
est rates in town. Call River Prod. (212) 
431-7985. 



Services Available: Transfers and sound 
recording with Nagra 4.2 and MagnaSync 
with DBX etc. Low rates. Call (212) 486- 
9020. 

Service: Negative Cutting: 16/35mm, 
negative reversal. Work done fast and at 
competitive prices. Refs. avail, upon 
request. Mike Penland at (212) 966-6358. 

Wanted: Need an apt. or sublet for ex- 
tended time in the Soho, Village or Chel- 
sea area. Can pay $300.-325. Call Sharon: 
MWF at 966-0900 till 6 or 746-5105 even- 
ings. 



AIVF/FIVF 
99 Prince Street 
New York, NY 10012 



THE INDEPENDENT December 78